I so enjoy reading your stories about drug seekers. But thats not the reason i am posting. I am a recovering addict, i have 3 years clean. I was a drug seeker, and a doctor shopper. I am the person you dread seeing while your working your shift. Its nothing i am proud of. I know many other drug seekers and it was nothing they were proud of either. Its withdrawal that sends us out seeking. The er is usually a last ditch effort to not get sick. I can only say one thing in my defense, my lies were minor things, things that would get me sent to fast track, as not to have a huge workup or take a bed from someone who was truly ill. I could never do that. So i am posting to try to help you more easily identify when you are in the presence of one of us. Tell you our tricks, its something i have been wanting to write out for a while now.
I am sure you know a few tricks and perhaps none of these will surprise you, or maybe some will. Idk. But here they are. Tooth pain with only a mild cavity or no cavity at all (nearly seeking almost 100% of the time) back pain with scrapes on the back in one section (middle usually) made to look like an injury has occurred with no bruising, back pain with no injury at all. (Altho a ct is always good cause once they thought i was seeking when i actually fractured 3 vertebrae but i had neck pain too) straight cuts, that are perfectly straight and opened more in the middle and thinner at each end (razorblade used) migraine headache but watching tv, playing on phone, eating, drinking, being loud, histrionics. Someone who reports 10/10 pain but again on phone, watching tv quietly, sleeping, only moans when someone is watching. Seizure, someone who suddenly comes out of it alert (i never faked a seizure i suck at acting) Kidney stones, that pain has a dance to it, lol. Youre not on your phone or eating cheetoes during a kidney stone attack, any blood in the urine that is red and fresh. I had brownish blood in my urine. There are more and i will post when i go back to group and ask everyone their secrets. There are mine.
Drug seekers will also self harm for their narcotics too, i have actually broken my own arm, wrist and a small foot fracture to get stuff. These people will use the same injuries multiple times by coming in and saying its worse. Feel free to add anything you havent seen here.
Nothing you have done is something I haven't seen. I am glad you are in recovery and I wish you all the best. I have seen some regular seekers turn their lives around, it's awesome.
Thank you for posting here.
We have seen all of these and many, many, infinitely many more - - but here's something I'd like to share about what I've learned from these experiences:
- I've learned that probably no one's childhood dream was to become a "drug-seeker." I try to look at it keeping that in mind.
- I've learned not to disregard everything about the patient based on any suspicion I may have, no matter how likely it is that I'm right. I will do a thorough and appropriate assessment every time.
- I've learned that treating people with abject disdain makes me feel as crappy as it makes them feel. So I won't do it.
- Based on treating people well (even when they clearly have an alternative agenda), I have noticed people trying to treat me well, even when I have to hand them an Rx for ibuprofen. No matter how unlikely, I have little hopes in the back of my mind that maybe just being unexpectedly treated with basic human kindness/acceptance is something that they will remember. I refuse to let go of a tiny hope that it might contribute to a change for that person someday.
That's all I've got.
**CONGRATULATIONS** on your 3 years being clean.
Life has so much more to offer....
Best to you ~