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Top 10 Signs Your Patient May Be a Drug Seeker

Top 10 Signs Your Patient May Be a Drug Seeker

Scrubs Magazine | Brady Pregerson, MD & Rebekah Child, RN

Nurse Rebekah:

Top Ten Signs Your Patient May Be Seeking Narcotics Inappropriately

1. He knows which ER docs have a proclivity for dispensing narcotics and schedules visits around their work hours.

2. She remembers your password for the Pyxis—and prompts you when you forget it.

3. He knows the exact dose of medication that will kill the pain: “4 mg of Dilaudid IVP usually works for me.”

4. She’s allergic to Toradol and morphine.

5. He went into a clinical depression when many emergency rooms stopped stocking Demerol.

6. She can relate to Nurse Jackie.

7. He’s been to the ER 15 times in the last year for pain management and yet can’t make it to the pain clinic for his appointment.

8. She balks at the idea of narcotics being given subcutaneously.

9. His holiday wish list looks like a Pyxis report.

10. Her primary physician not only knows her name, but so does the doctor’s wife, his three kids, the pharmacist and the pharm tech at the local drugstore.

Yes, this list is somewhat tongue in cheek, and sometimes the hints may be more subtle than directly depicted above. But all kidding aside, remember that these drug seekers get very good at their pasttime of hoarding meds. Don’t disregard any suspicion as an overreaction because it may lead to more than you realize.

These people, for their own safety and the safety of your license, must be dealt with and their addiction must be treated. Do not be afraid to report them!

More on

In Career Advice: The Candyman Conundrum
In Career Advice: Give Drug Seekers the Benefit of the Doubt
In Career Advice: Prescription Drugs

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