I know this thread is kind of old, but I felt the need to comment. My sister has sickle cell. Yeah yeah I know the stigma. I worked in the ED for 10 years, and I came across a lot of fakers who didn't even really have sickle cell and just wanted drugs. And also the sicklers who we treated like/or actually were seekers.
My sister's never had a whole lot of hospitalizations until this last year when she was hospitalized multiple times, received multiple transfusions, had to have a couple surgeries, etc. She's had a script for Dilaudid for YEARS. She fills it maybe 2x a year. Nothing excessive. She called me the other day hysterically crying because she'd been in pain, was out of her Dilaudid (because she let the previous script run out...always tries IBU 800 first which is generally helpful) and her Dr wrote her a new one. But apparently the pharmacies are now refusing to fill certain scripts??? Written by legit well known hem/oncs. I called one of the pharmacies and was told they can refuse to fill scripts written by certain docs, and they can choose to give pts only x amount of their prescriptions? Oh, and they have to call and confirm with the doc that you really have what illness you say you have. I had no idea that was a even a thing! No snark intended, but do they call the oncologist to confirm your cancer before they fill your script? Or the ortho to confirm your bone really is broken in 3 different places and you need that oxy or whatever?
She was turned away from multiple pharmacies that she'd regularly used in the past for her other meds. They treated her like a seeker even though they could see she wasn't on the PDMP (yep I confirmed this). I had to call a fifth pharmacy to get her her meds. So yeah, I can definitely see chronic pain med users with legitimate pain issues killing themselves when their pain relief is taken away or severely limited.