Tips on how NOT to appear like a Drug seeker

  1. 0
    Having read through some of the threads regarding Drug seekers in the Emergency Department I must admit I now feel quite nervous of being misperceived in this way. I take medication which causes some urinary retention and increases my risk of Kidney stones. Hopefully this will never happen, but if it does and I need to present to the ED, what advice (on behaviour and what to say for example) can people here give me so I don't get wronly perceived as a Drug seeker. Taking into consideration I am a former Heroin addict, sensitive to NSAIDS and can't take Ibuprofen or Aspirin type medications due to asthma.
  2. Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

  3. 60,990 Views
    Find Similar Topics
  4. 150 Comments so far...

  5. 7
    Just tell them the truth being sure to add the information about former drug use. We really appreciate it when people fully disclose so we can help them better/safely. We easily pick up on lies and half truths and unfortunately then start forming our own opinion, so just give it to us straight.
  6. 1
    Sadly to the unskilled the fact that you are allergic to NSAID's and Ibuprofen and ASA, with a history of kidney stones may get you lumped in to the drug seeker catagory reguardless . One of the best non-narcotic drugs for kidney stone pain cant be used for you because of that. Your best ally in your case is to always be very detailed with your history and to not leave anything out or be short with staff no matter how uncomfortable you are.

    If your are having 10/10 pain try to look like you are having 10/10 pain, I know pain is subjective. Dont be talking to you friends, brothers sister on the cell phone at triage. Dont be asking for something to eat 10 minute after barfing you guts out. Dont make it look like the pain from the IV start is worse than the pain you are having, we notice these things. Having said that I have seen enough kidney stones, hundreds if not a couple thousand, to know I never want one.

    Rj

    Quote from WillowBrook
    Having read through some of the threads regarding Drug seekers in the Emergency Department I must admit I now feel quite nervous of being misperceived in this way. I take medication which causes some urinary retention and increases my risk of Kidney stones. Hopefully this will never happen, but if it does and I need to present to the ED, what advice (on behaviour and what to say for example) can people here give me so I don't get wronly perceived as a Drug seeker. Taking into consideration I am a former Heroin addict, sensitive to NSAIDS and can't take Ibuprofen or Aspirin type medications due to asthma.
    Daisy Doodle likes this.
  7. 0
    Be willing to try whatever's offered if you're not allergic/sensitive to it......"Dilaudid's the only thing that works on me" is not a good thing for us to hear. And stone pain is pretty hard to fake, if you're passing a stone chances are you will be believed.
  8. 7
    My sympathy to the OP.

    It's very sad that things are the way they are nowadays that someone asks how to not appear as a drug seeker.
    AnGG, mrsmamabear2002, donnasaur, and 4 others like this.
  9. 0
    I worked as a case manager in the level one ER for about two years and it was my job to deal with the chronic patients. Drug seekers are those who continually seek care from DIFFERENT ER's, they don't follow discharge instructions, give different names and social security numbers, shop from one ER to the next and alter prescriptions. The other ERs as well as pharmacies call around to each other.

    So...given this criteria, you should have no problem. Especially if you are upfront about your problems, I don't think there would be a problem. It is not a problem for patients in pain to receive excellent care. The biggie red flags are listed above.

    Good luck.
  10. 0
    Quote from TazziRN
    Be willing to try whatever's offered if you're not allergic/sensitive to it......"Dilaudid's the only thing that works on me" is not a good thing for us to hear. And stone pain is pretty hard to fake, if you're passing a stone chances are you will be believed.
    The only problem with this is that those that do have severe pain r/t perhaps a chronic condition DO know what works best for them. What do you suggest in that situation? Is there a proper way to distiguish oneself as an informed patient as opposed to a drugseeker? (I mean besides staying off the cell phone! LOL)

    T
  11. 2
    If you have a chronic condition, the pain is best managed outside of the ER.
    TraumaNurseRN and ERRNTraveler like this.
  12. 0
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    My sympathy to the OP.

    It's very sad that things are the way they are nowadays that someone asks how to not appear as a drug seeker.



    I was thinking the same thing..........

    Smoo
  13. 1
    Thanks a lot for the advice. I am always upfront and honest with ER staff about my past drug history, afterall they're gonna know anyway as soon as they see the scar/track on my arm and I figure it's better just coming straight from me. I really wish I wasn't sensitive to Non Steroidals, from what I've heard they work really well for pain relief (better than narcotics in some cases), if I could take them I would. I've had a couple of bad experiences in the ER being misjudged as a drug seeker when I was there for legitimate reasons, but most of the time I've found the nurses and staff to be very helpful and kind. :kiss
    NocturneRN likes this.


Top