SEARCY, Ark. (KTHV) -- People forging prescriptions and getting drugs unfortunately happens all too often. Medicine is meant to help and not hurt, and certainly not to nurse addictions.
Fortunately, there are a few things pharmacists are doing to prevent filling prescriptions to the wrong patient.
Nancy Showalter owns Stott's Drug Store in Searcy. She says they occasionally see people forging prescriptions, but fortunately they don't see that very often.
"Being a smaller store and being a privately owned store we see the prescription drug habits of the doctors and their writing habits, so if something comes in that's a huge amount for a controlled substance check on it," says Showalter.
Showalter says they know their customers, and even know their illnesses. Those relationships help them stay aware of their medical habits, but when they do see a "red flag," they take the necessary steps to make sure the medicine doesn't get into the wrong hands.
"If it's a high quantity or someone we don't know we will usually ask for a driver's license and then we will also check with the doctor to make sure it's a legitimate prescription," says Showalter.
Typically, their prescriptions come through email and that's a strong form of verification, but there are some limitations.
"Controlled substances cannot be emailed, they have to be called in by the doctor or handwritten," Showalter says.
There are also several precautions that doctors are taking as well.
"They are a lot more careful about leaving their pads lying around, so they won't get stolen and most of them have numbered pads," she adds.
Another problem with prescriptions, is keeping them for too long. Cleaning out your cabinets can keep people from taking them when they don't need them.
"People will have surgery or something like that, and they get pain medicine and they end up not taking it all, and if it's just setting in their cabinets it can fall into the wrong hands," says Showalter.
Saturday, September 29 is the next Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, but you don't have to wait until then, if you have unused medicine. You can drop it by a hosting site or a police department. (http://bit.ly/PVH5DT)