Latest Comments by WillowBrook

WillowBrook 1,292 Views

Joined: Aug 25, '06; Posts: 32 (28% Liked) ; Likes: 12

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  • 2
    suanna and SuesquatchRN like this.

    I would like to try and give at least a little bit of insight into this situation from a chronic pain patients point of view...and one who is also extremely sensitive to all NSAIDS, cannot take any Aspirin based medications to due reactions with Asthma and has a past HX of Heroin addiction.

    As a chronic pain patient, who also has the above mentioned added conditions, there are still times when I need relief from acute pain (for example after falling through a ceiling and injuring my back). As a Chronic Pain patient as well I am very familiar with what does and does not work for me, how much of any drug I will probably need and what I can't take or what is going to be a complete waste of time. So when I present to the ER needing relief from acute pain and I say something like "Tramadol is going to be a waste of time, I believe Fentanyl is more appropriate for me", I am not "drug seeking" just to get a Narcotic I am trying to save the ER staff a lot of wasted time and effort. Instead of just not saying anything and then having the staff only end up having to reassess and change medications and so on if I haven't received what I need for pain relief, thus ending up spending more time in the ER taking up a valuable bed that another patient could be using, I figure it is in everyone's best interests for me to try and make it easier by just stating straight out what is and isn't going to work for me.

    I will always try and be as polite and cordial as possible to all ER staff as well; however, if I can sense (usually because their muttering under the breath, rolling their eyes and generally looking at me like I'm the worst kind of scum they've ever seen) that any staff member is being judgemental towards me then I can get a little defensive. I will still try not to be rude but I will try and advocate for myself and be very assertive in letting the person know that their assumptions are very wrong. Unfortunately I know that as soon as I open my mouth and say that I can't take NSAIDS or Aspirin based medicines and they also see the trackmark scar on my arm (I am always upfront and honest about my past history of heroin addiction and I will offer to take a urine or blood test if they want to check what drugs I have in my system) I am likely to be labelled a Drug seeker and that can tend to make me a little defensive and more likely to react negatively to even the slightest hint of not being believed, although like I said I do still try to be nice and polite with everyone.

  • 1
    Jonecour3096 likes this.

    Quote from ernurse4ill
    Willow, you need to ignore the idiocy of some of the posts. It seems like most are truely responding in a caring and interested way. A couple of these posts just prove why you are concerned to begin with. My husband is a chronic pain sufferer and has been treated badly too. I pray that those standing in judgement never have to endure what you and he have.
    Thank you. Most of the responses have been very helpful and supportive but yes there are those who have responded that I have to think are they that quick to judge in real life. I thought everyone should be treated as an individual when it came to healthcare, not automatically lumped into one category titled "drug seeker" without the person even knowing the whole story. I can understand that it would be very frustrating to be confronted with people wasting time and resources to try and scam drugs but does that mean that that disruption and frustration should then be extended to all legitimate pain patients, obviously not. I think for some people (not specifically anyone here) it is an ego boost, a way for them to play the I am superior to you card by being so judgemental and only providing or advocating for treatment of those patients who meet their own personal code of morality.

  • 1
    mrsmamabear2002 likes this.

    Quote from jojotoo
    The nurse that didn't have time to talk to you or your husband about your "pain" was probably doing the documentation and paperwork from her last 10-15 patients that was required by JCAHO. This paperwork had also probably prevented her from getting a meal break or a bathroom break for the last six hours. I'd like to see if you are of the same opinion after you have been a nurse for several years and you see how in the real world doing all that REDUNDANT paperwork prevents you from giving the quality of patient care that you would like to be able to give.
    Excuse me, was that directed to me? I assume it was so I will just clarify that no I was not complaining about Nurses who couldn't give me the level of care I required because they had paperwork or other duties to do. They were not actually doing any paperwork or any other sort of nursing type work, if they had have been I would have been quite understanding as yes I do realise I am not the only patient in the ER, they were standing in full view of me drinking cups of coffee, pointing, laughing, whispering and makiing references to junkies and drugs whilst rolling their eyes. I think under the circumstances I have every right to be disatisfied with my treatment. Also why did you put the word pain in inverted commas, that to me implies that the pain is not legitmate in your eyes....just because I am a former heroin addict (who btw has been completely clean for over 4 years now) does not mean that I have never had any legitimate severe pain and the incident I was talking about occured several years before I had ever even touched Heroin or any other narcotics.

  • 0

    Quote from onlyanrn
    I agree that only someone who is seeking would worry about how not to look like she is seeking. If you are truly in pain, you are not going to care what others think of you or how you apepar.
    Well you'd think so wouldn't you (about not caring how you appear) and yes if I am ever in severe pain and need to present to the ER the foremost thing on my mind isn't going to be "do I look like a drugseeker", it's going to be "help me stop this pain please". I did not pose the original questiont o get "tips" on how to scam drugs from a hospital, I have absolutely no need to do this seeing as a) I am a former Drug Addict who has been completely clean for 4 years b) even if I was still an addict I already know which local Doctors I can go to for "help" c) If I was still an addict it is far easier for me to just call up a local dealer to get a fix.

    As for why I did pose the original question, well I think anybody who reads these boards and hears how people are so quick to pass judgement on who is a drug seeker and who is legit (not saying everybody but there is a certain element here) and then read about other peoples bad experiences as being mistaken for a drug seeker, would be extremely naive to think that they don't have to worry about being perceived as a drug seeker.

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    Quote from loriannlpn
    Thank you for your post's. Have you ever thought about doing public speaking? Your story seems very powerful, you could help people who have lost their way.

    Do you find talking about your experience is a form of therapy?

    Have a blessed day
    Thank you I was, at one stage, going to be involved with an Education program for school kids with former addicts going in and talking about their experiences but funding for it was cut so it never came to fruition. These days I'm more or less housebound due to chronic and severe anxiety, with borderline psychosis, paranoid ideations and depressive symptoms. I think I probably would have developed Mental health issues regardless of past drug use, but the Drugs certainly didn't help and also like many others I did use drugs to cope with the symptoms of Mental illness. I accepted I had a problem but I refused medication or help for it...I thought I could get over it if I just "got my s*it together". I personally think that instead of Govts throwing money towards the so called "war on drugs" and making penalties for users harsher, they should put more money towards education and destigmatisation about Mental Illnesses and better care and resources for sufferers. If people with Mental Illness had access to good quality affordable and expediate care without fear of stigma or judgement by society, I think you could almost solve the entire drug problem of the western world.

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    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.

  • 1
    Jonecour3096 likes this.

    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.

  • 0

    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?

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    One more thing if you notice signs of depression or other mental illness in a friend or family member, don't ignore it or hope it will sort itself out...make sure you encourage the person to seek professional help. A lot of people who take Meth and other drugs are suffering from some form of undiagnosed or untreated mental illness and the drug use is their way of self medicating.

  • 0

    Quote from loriannlpn
    Can you please comment on how one gets approached on these drugs? What may be the reason for someone to try these drugs, knowing the effects that it has on a persons life? Party? Losing weight? self esteem? Sense of family with other users?
    I have a son, and I have friends that have children. I want to know what are the signs of someone that is using.
    As a former user, what is your thought on knowing if your child is heading down this path?
    First of all the myth of the evil pusher luring innocent people onto drugs is just that a myth. I'm not saying that these sorts of unscrupulous people don't exist but in the 15+ years that I took drugs I never met one person that could even remotely be considered a pusher. I think this is one of the hardest things for parents to accept, that their child has chosen to take a particular drug. Most people are introduced to Meth through friends or family...the scenario might go something like this, the person is out at a club/concert/rave *insert other party venues* and they see a few people who are really confident and happy and full of energy. They find out that these people are taking Meth and then perhaps someone in the group mentions that they know someone's brother who takes Meth to help him study and so he can party all night. The following week the same group of friends get together but this time one of them has gotten some Meth of the brother and asks who wants to take it with him, some decline others say yes. This of course is only one scenario out of many possibilities but in my experience it is generally the same way all the time, somebody's friend or family member takes it and they are lead into it that way. I know you'd think that with a family member, especially if they have a real problem with it, that it would put the person off of using the drug, but you have to remember nobody ever expects to be a drug addict. It's always the case of "it won't happen to me" as if somehow they are so different as to be immune to addiction.

    As for why people do it, well all of the reasons you gave plus the fact that it feels good. People do drugs because they make the feel good, better than any natural or normal high could ever give. When you first start taking Meth you feel fantastic, just so energetic and confident and clear's hard to describe and a lot of people in the early stages of use don't exhibit signs of being messed up or acting like the stereotypical image of an addict so a lot of people might know the risks, but of course like I said before they're always going to be different, they won't overdose, they won't have a heart attack, they know how to control the drug. I said exactly the same thing with heroin, I knew the risks but of course I was going to be different, I knew how to handle the drug so I didn't develop a problem...hah famous last words.

    As for signs someone is using drugs? well there are a few dead giveaways...with Meth the persons pupils will be dilated and there jawline will appear tensed (same with Coke and E's), with Heroin the person will tend to itch, rub their noses, their voice will be croaky, they may nod off periodically, their pupils will be constricted and the colour of their eyes changes slightly (looks lighter and cloudier). With Meth apart from the dilated pupils and tensed jaw the person does not neccessarily look like their messed up on drugs, I have visited my own parents whilst on Meth and had them tell me how wonderful it was to see me so bright and healthy looking, so if you're looking for someone who looks messed up you probably won't see it in the initial stages at least.

    I don't know what advice I can give to drug proof anyone's kids, just keep the lines of communication open, never exagerrate the effects of a drug, don't only go on about the negatives but give a balanced and honest account of drugs and their effects on people (when people first try a drug that they have been told all these horror stories about and they feel great on it, but not only that nothing neccessarily bad has happened that first time, they tend to then dismiss all warnings they have ever heard about said drug), make sure you know who there friends are and instill in them a sense of confidence and self esteem so that they will be more likely to say no to drugs.

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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

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    Thanks so much, I will check out that site

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    Quote from Roy Fokker
    A few thoughts:

    * Addiction is more than just "craving for a hit".
    * No one becomes a raging alcoholic after their first drink. The same is true for any drug - legal or illegal.
    * There are plenty of people who take recreational drugs but don't let it control their lives. There is a world of a difference between "use" and "abuse".

    I believe that a good chunk of addiction lies with psychological desire. The physiological dependence makes quitting harder - certainly. But if the psychological desire lesses, the physiological dependence can be overcome.

    I'd also like to thank WillowBrook for his/her posts.

    Your welcome and btw it's her :wink2: . With what you said about addiction being more than just a craving for the drug, that is very very true. It's probably hard for someone who has never been an addict to understand, but it's not just the drug you are addicted to it's everything surrounding the drug. You become addicted to the act of scoring, having the drug in your possession and feeling somehow above the constraints of societies expectations, the thrill of the needle (or whatever other method you are using), the ritual of preparing a mix for shot and so on. The actual drug itself is only one part of a much larger picture when it comes to addiction.

    For interests sake to put into perspective how addictive Meth is compared with Heroin, and I'm not trying to say that Meth is not something we should be concerned about because obviously it is, out of a group of roughly 40-50 people who were Meth users only 3 people could have really been considered full blown addicts. Compare that to when the same group of people began to use Heroin and only 2 people in that group escaped a full blown Heroin addiction.

    Marijuana as a gateway drug was also mentioned before. I live in a state where Marijuana has been decriminalized and is easily accessible, so with the theory of Marijuana leading to harder drugs we should be overrun with Drug problems. Not the case, South Australia's drug problem, with regards to Meth and Heroin, is no greater than any other city of Australia....regardless of easy access to Cannabis.

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    TraumarUs - I'm very sorry to hear about your son's situation. It's good that you spoke out about it though because so many people just don't think it can happen to "people from a good home". One of my best friends is battling an addiction to Heroin, he comes from an upper middleclass home, his father is a very well respected member of the community, he was sent to Private School for his education, was involved in Tennis and other sporting + community group, just to give you an idea of the sort of background he has. The stereotype of the typical drug user leads a lot of people to believe that it couldn't possibly happen "in our family". Look around you, your co-workers, friends, family, people on the street etc, anyone of them could be a Drug addict. Drugs don't discriminate.

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    Quote from WVUturtle514


    Perhaps you can enlighten some of us as to the thought processes of meth users. Especially those that manufacture the meth in their homes. As they are making this concoction do they not look at the ingredients that are going into it and think, "Hmmm.....I don't know if this is such a good thing for me to be putting in my body." Or is the need for a high so great that it completely overcomes all rational thought a person might have? Also, do you believe it's more of a physical addiction or a mental addiction, or a combination of both?
    Well I just have to make clear that I am talking from the point of view of someone who used and came close to having a major addiction to it but never quite crossed the line with that particular drug, although I do always maintain that my drug of choice was Meth my drug of addiction was Heroin.

    Anyway with regards to peple manufacturing at knowing what they are putting in there bodies, well the fact that they do know exactly what is going into the mix for some people makes them feel safer. It's not like they're buying off someone and not knowing if it's been cut with god knows what or if it has been made properly and so on. Also there is a sort of illicit thrill that goes along with cooking meth, it's fairly easy to do (I've seen it done but never participated myself) and it becomes almost a sort of status thing amongst meth users if you are a cook. It's part of the whole culture and lifestyle surrounding Meth, feeling invincible, cool, above the law etc (all of course fueled by the effects of Meth).

    And then of course yes there is the component where people are just so addicted that the only thing they care about is where there next hit comes from. I experienced this very much so with Heroin, when your addict you tend to almost have tunnel vision where you just cannot focus on anything but the drug and how to obtain it. It's not like you just feel like doing it, when you are an addict you crave the drug, you can't think of anything else and it's like you feel as if you will go crazy or breakdown and not be able to cope if you don't get it. I know people who were addicted to Meth who would scrape their carpets with a knife in order to hopefully be able to pick up just a few loose remnants of the drug that they could then inject, and I remember when I was addicted to Heroin there were times when I was craving the drug so badly I could literally taste and smell it everywhere I went. When addiction gets to that level you really feel almost animalistic, it's a real sense of just absolute desperation.

    The difference between Meth and Heroin though is that with Heroin once you do have your hit you tend to be instantly filled with remorse and just hate yourself for what you have become, whereas with Meth this doesn't happen so much because of the nature of the high and the false confidence it instills in you. There can be a physical component to Meth addiction if someone is a longterm or heavy user, but the main focus with Meth addiction is psychological, that does not make it any less powerful though. Unlike Heroin, where you know if you don't get X amount of the drug X amount of times a day you are going to be suffering some serious pain, with Meth you know that if you don't have it for a couple of days you're not going to suffer that much physically. I think this does make it hard for people to accept when they have a problem until things become really desperate because it's not like you can think "I'm only taking this drug now to stop myself from being sick from withdrawal, something isn't right here", there's not that sort of warning sign of physical addiction that really lets you know that "hey you know I think things have gone too far". And then also like I said before, there is the whole invicibility, false sense of control and confidence and so on that Meth induces in people and the fact that Meth is seen by many people as just being a recreational party drug, another form of Speed and nothing to be concerned about. I mean it's not like your taking Heroin and then sweating and writhing in pain when you don't get your hit, so a lot of people don't take Meth use as seriously as they should.