Tips on how NOT to appear like a Drug seeker - page 5

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... Read More

  1. Visit  nuangel1 profile page
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    all patients pain should be addressed .we shouldnot judge people.but we are human too.its shame people worry about appearing as drug seeeker when all they want is pain relief .but not all pain ,as we all know ,needs to be treated with narcs there are a range of drug options avail.even drug addicts need ppain releif however if someone has chronic pain issues they should have a med plan developed for them by their pcp .of course adjustments will need to be made and emergencies do occur .the other issue is some people don't see md's and use er as primary care .so it is a complicated issue .and there is a diff .b/w dependence and addiction .my dad had neuropathy severe d/t diabetes and was on pain meds narc and other to control his pain ,even used tens,but he was reluctant to take the meds d/t side effects.i also have had severe pain d/t diverticulitis requiring 2 trips to er both ended with hospital admissions and i know what meds work for me and what doesn't and i tell them .i am also fortunat to have wonderful dr's.
  2. Visit  Gussiegoose profile page
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    Quote from gauge14iv
    Someone who wasn't a drug seeker wouldn't even be concerned about this.

    I totally agree. It sounds like this person wants all of their ducks in a row for the next ER visit.
  3. Visit  Marie_LPN, RN profile page
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    Quote from Gussiegoose
    I totally agree. It sounds like this person wants all of their ducks in a row for the next ER visit.
    Yep that's exactly what it sounds like .

    Here's hoping the OP gets care from kind, nondismissive professionals if and when they need it.
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Aug 31, '06
  4. Visit  belfry profile page
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    Quote from gauge14iv
    Someone who wasn't a drug seeker wouldn't even be concerned about this.

    I disagree! I had a kidney stone earlier this year, and had 10/10 pain, vomiting, elevated BP/HR/R, the whole nine yards. I was given toradol + phenergan...didn't do a thing but make me drowsy...still in the same pain, still vomiting. No change after the second dose. After a bit they gave me something else (don't recall, was either demerol or dilaudid) Knocked the pain (and me) right out.

    So now I am concerned that if it ever happens again I will either have to be inappropriately medicated for an hour until the other drugs prove ineffective, or look like a drug seeker when I say, "Um, the only thing that worked was something that started with a "D"." Tell me that won't get me a special note in my chart!

    So be careful not to judge too quickly. I am not a drug seeker under normal conditions, but that pain made a true believer out of me...I would slap your granny to get drugs under those conditions!
  5. Visit  vamedic4 profile page
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    Belfry's situation underscores the need to have someone with you who can help you to explain what is going on...a husband, wife, parent or significant other. In many cases, someone who can tell staff how things are affecting you can help you in your quest for releif.

    And yes, even those patients with pain specialists, neurologists, et cetera DO WORRY about being perceived as "drug seeking". To say that they don't worry about it is naive at best. They worry that they won't be treated, they worry that staff say things like "oh, she's just here for a fix"...occasionally when I have to take my wife to the ER, I have overheard this...mostly from nursing staff. The docs are less worried or judgemental, one call to the pain management doctor at 0200 is enough to defer any questions about her need.
    As if it weren't enough that the entire family is there at 0200 on a school night???

    Again, people are individuals and should be dealt with on an individual basis.

    Workin' workin' workin' again tonight
    vamedic4
  6. Visit  WillowBrook profile page
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    Quote from Gussiegoose
    I totally agree. It sounds like this person wants all of their ducks in a row for the next ER visit.
    Yes, which is exactly why I identified myself as a former Heroin addict in my initial post ....don't you think if I was trying to get information on how to appear legit so I could scam drugs I would have left that particular piece of history out of the equation
  7. Visit  fotografe profile page
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    Quote from gauge14iv
    Exactly - so if a person truly is in pain, then they should not have to be concerned about appearing to be a drug seeker. If they are worried about that - then I have to be at least a little suspicious.
    Not so true in my case. I had undiagnosed esophageal spasm for 25 YEARS! I woudl go to the er in so much pain I was sure I was having a heart attack. After years of taking NSAIDs for spinal pain. I finally realized these things were often triggering the esophageal pain. I found a GI doc who treated me for the spasm and told me to stay off the NSAIDs. When I had to go to the ER for severe spinal pain (2 ruptured discs) I explained I could not take NSAIDs. The nurse, in front of me, told the MD when he came in that I was "allergic" to NSAIDs and then rolled her eyes. I tried to stop her and say I wasn't allergic but sensitive. In the end, they gave me iv toradol, which did indeed take away the back pain, but it sent me into the worst esophageal spasm EVER -- so much so I was sure I was going to die right there. I read later that GI irritation, even when given iv, is a side effect. So they ended up having to give me morphine to stop the severe pain they caused. All because they thought I was lying and a seeker. 25 years of trying to find relief from the pain certainly gave me insight to what works and what does not.
  8. Visit  ERNP profile page
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    Quote from Cyndee, MSN, NP
    HA HA HA HA! You are describing so many of my pain management patients. I see this crap all the time, they'll even come in with a police report stating someone robbed them and took that meds! I just write them a script for a clonidine taper and tell them this will keep them out of withdrawal until they can get another refill. I just discharged someone today because I suspected she was abusing her meds...turned out I was right on the money...she tested positive for benzo's and oxycodone, but she was only being prescribed methadone. When she told me that she was getting the other meds from another doc, I showed her the contract she signed stating that WE were the only ones allowed to prescribe a controlled substance!!! She has 45 days to find another physician. I LOVE busting the losers!
    You're a good woman. I am pretty sure that chronic pain management wouldn't be for me.

    We have one of the pain management docs in town that does some occasional ER moonlighting. I have seen him discharge patients from his practice in the ER for violating their pain management contract. You should see their faces when he walks into their room.

    We are fortunate to have computer access to other system hospitals. So when we pull someone up, we can see when they have made a "7 ERs in 7 days" tour for a toothache. The state has recently made prescriptions filled available via the internet for those who apply for a password.
  9. Visit  ERNP profile page
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    Quote from WillowBrook
    I do find it a bit perplexing as to why anyone would try and scam drugs from an ED.
    Far easier to just pick up a phone and call up a dealer rather than hang around in the ED making up stories and hoping that you will be lucky enough to get what you need.
    Sometimes people truly have untreated or undertreated pain.

    Sometimes people are trying to get the meds for someone else.

    Sometimes people are addicted and need the meds to avoid the sickness of withdrawal.

    Sometimes people just want to get stoned.

    And sometimes, the people haunting the ER ARE the ones selling drugs.

    Oh and last but not least, the dealer doesn't take medicaid.
  10. Visit  WillowBrook profile page
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    Quote from ERNP
    Sometimes people truly have untreated or undertreated pain.

    Sometimes people are trying to get the meds for someone else.

    Sometimes people are addicted and need the meds to avoid the sickness of withdrawal.

    Sometimes people just want to get stoned.

    And sometimes, the people haunting the ER ARE the ones selling drugs.

    Oh and last but not least, the dealer doesn't take medicaid.
    Yeah I know the reasons that people might got to an ER to seek drugs, but I guess even as a former user it's not a practice I can really understand...more so with the one's that do it all the time. I mean where I come from (Adelaide, South Australia) if you are a heroin addict you pretty much know where to get heroin at all times, if you can't afford a hit there are ways to make quick money (prostitution for example) and you can always go from friend to friend begging for a small taste (much more success generally than going to the ER), if there is a time when there is a Heroin drought and nobody can score then you tend to know what Doctors you can go to who will get you onto Methadone within 24 hours or will help you out with a shot of morphine every now and then to get you through. It just seems so unneccessary to go to an ED and wait for hours without any guarantee you will get what you want, I think you'd have to be absolutely desperate to do that. Then again I suppose some people are just that desperate.

    Question for people out of interest....would you have slightly more respect for a drug seeker if they just came out and honestly said that they were in withdrawal and needed something to help them out?
  11. Visit  WillowBrook profile page
    0
    Quote from Cyndee, MSN, NP
    HA HA HA HA! You are describing so many of my pain management patients. I see this crap all the time, they'll even come in with a police report stating someone robbed them and took that meds! I just write them a script for a clonidine taper and tell them this will keep them out of withdrawal until they can get another refill. I just discharged someone today because I suspected she was abusing her meds...turned out I was right on the money...she tested positive for benzo's and oxycodone, but she was only being prescribed methadone. When she told me that she was getting the other meds from another doc, I showed her the contract she signed stating that WE were the only ones allowed to prescribe a controlled substance!!! She has 45 days to find another physician. I LOVE busting the losers!
    I understand it must be very frustrating to have to deal with people constantly trying to scam the system, but please try and remember these "losers" as you call them are somebody's son, daughter, friend or loved one and they have a problem which needs help and understanding not judgement.
    Last edit by WillowBrook on Sep 1, '06
  12. Visit  LuvMyGamecocks profile page
    0
    Quote from WillowBrook
    Question for people out of interest....would you have slightly more respect for a drug seeker if they just came out and honestly said that they were in withdrawal and needed something to help them out?
    Wouldn't that be called ENABLING????

    I'm still a student, so you're welcome to take this as an unexperienced opinion.

    Absolutely not. It seems to me that there are FAR more important things that ED staff can focus their attention on, rather than cuddling an addict. I realize addiction is a disease, and that some people just aren't equipped with the tools necessary to either NEVER have started taking drugs or to quit once they have started. But, I don't feel like there should be any obligation by the ED staff to treat addiction withdrawal.

    Don't addicts, upon entry to detox, have to actually deal with all the withdrawal symptoms before the actual road to recovery can begin? I know there are serious repercussions of alcoholism withdrawal.....
  13. Visit  WillowBrook profile page
    0
    LuvmyGamecocks - I was just wondering how much of a difference in attitudes would honesty as opposed to trying to scam produce, but I do agree with what you said. I may not have chosen to be an addict but then again neither did anyone hold me down and force a needle in my arm. My problem, my responsibility to deal with and that responsibility doesn't include wasting an ER's time and resources.

    And yes you're right that the physical withdrawal for a Heroin addict is only the first part of "getting clean". The physical side (although it is very painful) is actually the easy part, it's the psychological addiction that is harder to overcome. It is easy to get clean but it's certainly not easy to stay clean.


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