Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Immigrant Patients

There is no common profile for drug-seeking patients.

There are, however, some cases that should trigger suspicion:
a. A patient with a minor injury who requests medication (narcotics) in excess for what the injury would be expected to indicate
b. The patient who requests increasing amounts/strength of medication while other
indications are of improved (or at least stable) condition
c. The patient who has two or more prescribing physicians
d. The patient who seeks ER visits between visits to the authorized treating physician
e. The patient who has a valid injury but has a questionable past and/or lack of motivation for the future
f. The patient who is irritable, labile, accusatory, and hostile and holds himself blameless for all the negative interactions which occur in offices
g. The patient who requests specific medications and disparages others which have less potential for getting “high” (E.g. specifies that only Xanax calms him and/or only Vicodin manages his pain)
h. Finally, the patient who continually produces new and seemingly unrelated
complaints as soon as an attempt is made to reduce access.

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