A Warning for all you "Drug Seekers" ....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DaisyFace, May 13, 2010.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I just wanted to pass along some information I heard on the news last night that might be important to a few parents who are trying to get help for their kids:

    Apparantly, doctors are being warned by law enforcement officials not to rx any medications to patients who come in asking for a drug by name. Patients who talk about medicines using the name of the medication are to be considered "drug seeking" and possible addicts.

    So watch yourselves if you end up in an emergency room or crisis center situation...you don't want to accidentally be red-flagged as a "drug seeker" by being too informed about medications.

    Just one more thing to worry about....
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    UGH! This is insane. Thank goodness when husband is ill he usually ends up at the VA medication center. They are the ones that Rx all his stuff so... phew.

    Me? I ask for nothing. I can, however, tell the docs what I have taken, or the kids, or husband.

    So let me see... All those drug ads are now going to be... POINTLESS!
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Nah, they won't be pointless. You'll just have to be vague. "Um...YOU know. The ad with the guy. He's wearing a sweater. I think he has a dog with him. They're on the beach? THAT medication." :tongue:

    I agree. Totally ridiculous.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This has been a problem for a while. Annoys the pants off me. What really irritates me is that I can go in to the ER and they will rx me a boatload of vicodin but look at me like I have two heads when I tell them I dont want them but want them to figure out what is wrong instead!
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Yeah, you have to play stupid. I've learned that. It's bleeping ridiculous. I know what works for me and what doesn't. Why should I let them reinvent the wheel?

    Oh, wait. That's cause they aren't the ones having to live with it.

    I'm in a *fine* mood today. Can't ya tell?
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    This would probably apply as far as ERs and urgent care facilities. But honestly, I doubt many psychiatrists will pay much attention to it. Or any other doctor for that matter. Why?

    1. Because they DO know the drug ads are plastered all over the TV

    2. Because they have the training/education and can usually tell when someone is just seeking drugs and when someone is seeking help.

    ERs and urgent care's don't have that luxury because they don't get to know the vast majority of their patients. Except for 1 thing.......drug seekers are what we call frequent flyers, in other words they're in there all the time. But yeah it ticks me off because a lot of innocent patients get caught in the middle. And there is no since in it.

    My personal opinion? If a drug seeker wants it and wants to pay the doctor/hospital bill to get it.....let them have it. Cold hearted maybe, but they're just going to go somewhere else and get it anyway. And it would stop patients who are in pain who should be properly medicated for it to stop having to beg for medications a doctor shouldn't think twice about giving.:mad:
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    What would Step want with that RX? :tongue:
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Oh Gosh! Is that commercial for one of THOSE medications? :916blusher: :bag:
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Great...wonder what the Urgent Care doctor thought, because I told him that Vicodin no longer worked for me, and we needed to go to a stronger one.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I think it will vary depending on where you are and what the profile of a typical drug user is, in your area.

    Some years ago we were on holiday in a part of Queensland where drugs are apparently more of an issue than in many other places. As many of you know, I take strong painkillers all the time anyway, they are prescribed with all the required government supervision, checks and balances. But sometimes things go wrong, and part of my medical history covers incidents where, for whatever reason, I have vomiting and can't keep my pain medications down. That can rapidly progress to shock and more vomiting, this time from uncontrolled pain. WHen tis stuff used to happen at home, I would call the doctor who would come round to see me at home and give me a shot of anti-emetic and pethidine.

    So when we were going on holiday, the doctor gave me a letter with my medical details on it, all the medications I take and why as well as the required numbers etc of the government paperwork. Every year he would update the letter.

    Well, this time in Queensland, I( got food poisoning. Vomiting, big-time. Then with no medications on board, my pain levels began to g et out of control and I was heading for shock and shut-down. The vomiting escalated, now from the pain as well. So husband took me to the hospital I had my letter, but didn't have my medications with me - no point, I was not keeping anything down anyway. I needed the injection.

    BUt they wouldn't give me an injection I was on a gurney too out of it to be able to fight for myself, husband was sitting beside me frantic, finally they gave me an anti-emetic shot. I think they had a bag of fluids up - I was clearly dehydrated. And you can't fake that. But they told us that they had no pethidine in stock at all. An ER - you have got to be kidding me! husband heard them talking about "drug-seeking behaviour" and they told him that the letter we produced from te GP was typical of what patients would do, if they wanted a 'fix' So the letter I had which I thought would back up my story, streamline things by giving them the usual doses etc, actually is what stymied my treatment.

    They had kept me all night; by about 4 am the vomiting had stopped and the fluids seemed to be working, I was able to walk to the bathroom. Still in a great deal of pain, still very nauseous, but not so shocky. That is when te doctor said, "We can't give you the medication you say you usually take because we haven't got any, but we can give you X." [a weaker painkiller, I knew it wouldn't have much benefit].

    So because I was desperate, I said OK< give me the pills and let's hope that I can keep them down now. I'd been there almost 12 hours by this time. So I took the pills, then because it was nearly sunrise and I knew that light was greatly aggravating the headache (migraine standard, with the nausea to match), we headed back to where we were staying, so I could (at last) take my own supply of stronger pills.

    We'd gone to the ER for a fast fix, one which had always worked before. But they had taken 12 hours to do very little, totally ignored my history, did not even telephone my GP whose phone number was on the letter - nothing. Put me through purgatory. And all because my having a letter from my GP was "drug-seeking behaviour".

    I mean - for pete's sake - what else could I have done? If I had said nothing, not handed over my letter, I would have not got the treatment I needed. At other hospitals in other areas over the years, the letter has helped a lot.

    I have now decided - I tell the truth. I confront the "drug-seeking" suspicions head on and divulge EVERYTHING. I've had this happen a couple of times since, and not had this problem, but I do now have the difficulty of the usual dose of pethidine they're willing to give, not working because of my usual medications boosting my tolerance to it. But since I am open with the medical staff about my dosages, this shouldn't be a problem. THey usually give me enough pethidine to get the pain a little under control. Once I can cope, I can leave the ER and then take my own oral medications.

    It's not satisfactory, but at the moment it works, in most places.

    What helps best is when the medical staff have access to your history. Either you tell tem, or te hospital has files already. If you are open about helping the hospital have access to information, it generally undermines the "drug-seeking" suspicions. But not always.

    Sometimes it doesn't matter how well you try and prepare and plan to avoid this issue - you will still get caught by their filter.

    I actually talked to the local hospital about tis, at my last ER attendance for an emergency shot. I described what happened in Queensland and asked them how I could have avoided alarming the hospital staff. How could I have reassured them tat I was genuine? What steps should I or my doctor take, to make it clear that I do not yell for help unless I am desperate? Because to be left in pain like that for so long, is dangerous now.

    They had no answer for me. Basically - this WILL happen again.

    The best advice I can give you, in this situation - have the letter from the treating doctor (I know - it was a red flag for drug-seeking - have the letter anyway). Also check with the doctor that he/she will accept a phone call from the hospital, if the situation really is dire. Have a list of your medication. And if at all possible, have your own medication with you, in the boxes with the prescription labels on them. If I had tis with me in Queensland, I probably would have been believed, I was told later.

    That seems to be the best way to 'prove' that you are genuine.

    Sometimes you can't win. Whatever you do, you will get caught with the label. All you can do is hope that over the hours, the doctors work it out and give you the help you need before they waste too much time.

  11. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I routinely play dumb. Not really but I figure I'm going to a professional so I should shut up and listen. I nod my head to what
    they are sharing even if I know everything they are telling me. I seldom tell anyone I am a nurse in a professional setting. It
    sets up defensiveness. I let them figure it out themselves.
    Same thing with medications. I listen to everything they are saying since that's what I'm paying them for then I ask questions.
    "walk softly, carry a big stick"
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont actually tell someone what I want but I do tell if I have taken something that doesnt work or causes adverse effects on me. That sometimes gets odd looks from doctors. Sometimes they dont believe me. Say the whole steroid thing. Many mainstream docs dont know or refuse to accept that steroids can send a bipolar patient into mania and will argue with me about it. LOL. I think I know my body by now. I have had them question me with hypothetical questions such as...what if you were paralyzed and they had to hang a steroid drip in the ER? Well I guess by then mania would be my last problem!
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    OMG... Janet... You are too much... And so perfectly right!!!

    ER docs are so much fun. Triage nurses are better. Your child is bleeding from a scratch on the head, because he pulled the scab off, but they don't want to listen to you that you think he's broken his ARM.
  14. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    rofl. I can't believe they don't believe steroids make n/t people crazy wild why wouldn't they believe it would trigger a mania.
    I know lots of people who have taken steroids and gotten pretty hyper.
    I was referring drug seeking as the post was talking about. Going in and saying I have allergies, I need a prescription for xyz. Guaranteed
    to not be accepted warmly.
    I think of it as the delicate dance of social skills. LOL the end result is to get the best option out there.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Fran...my ENT simply had no clue about the steroids and it was kind of scary to be honest. He stood there and questioned me for several minutes about all kinds of scenarios where steroids could be last ditch efforts and I finally had to tell him that if it was a choice between me living or dying then of course, I would take steroids because at that point mania would not be a pressing issue because I would most likely be sedated. However, when I am walking around, my mental health is normally one of the issues that takes precedence in my life. I have to worry about stability first if I am to have any semblance of normal life.

    He walked out and notated my chart that "patient recovered nicely after a course of steroids."
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I envy folks who get hyper on steroids. They don't do squat to me. :-(
  17. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I've had this happen and I worry about changing psychiatrists--mine is currently via telemedicine out of FL (he closed his practice up here). I cannot take atypical APs. I've taken three of them and all of them partially paralyze my swallowing reflexes. I take Haldol instead and it works well for me. BUT...it's not commonly prescribed anymore due to risk of long-term side effects.

    I have had a couple of weird ER experiences with medications. One was when I broke my tailbone and told the doctor that I couldn't take codeine or darvocet because both of them left me with my head in the toilet continuously. He wasn't happpy writing a RX for Vidodin even though Darvocet is more likely to have side effects and is extremely addictive.

    The other one was when I went in with a serious bladder infection. I announced that I'd had several of them in the past, detailed my sx graphically...he just asked what had worked for me in the past and I asked for some sulfa tablets and some of those pills that turn your pee orange and get rid of the burning.

    He OFFERED me an rx for narcotics, which were totally unnecessary. THe little magic orange pills clear up the pain with one or two doses and of course, you take the sulfa for ten days no matter if you are feeling well sooner or not. I got that little lecture, smiled and nodded and toddled off to the pharmacy
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well I had an interesting experience today in a doctor in the box where the doctor didnt mind me asking for a medication by name.

    I went in because I wanted to get started on the prescription nicotine inhaler immediately (Ok...by tomorrow night) and to do so I needed a doctor to write me a script. I needed a doctor to write me a script even for the OTC replacement therapies in order for insurance to cover them. I just found out that little bonus!

    So I had done my research and decided that because of my strong oral -hand fixation, the inhaler would be the best thing for me. I explained my reasoning to him and how I was desperate to do this now because of my father and the lung cancer and how I have promised him and he agreed with me. Gave me a 3 months supply!

    No problems.