View Full Version : I'm not a drug seeker!!


Lizylou84
02-06-13, 02:52 PM
So I suffer from various problems... I find help for some of these problems through medication. I take Adderall for ADHD, Klonopin for anxiety (as needed), Ambien for sleep, and Wellbutrin for depression.

I'm not an addict and I don't take any of these dugs for fun or to get high. Unfortunately, I always still feel like I'm being judged as a drug seeker/addict by pharmacists, doctors, and even friends/family.

To make matters worse, I'm always scared that my medications will be taken away. This makes me afraid to ask for anything, and prevents me from being completely honest with doctors etc. maybe I'm just being paranoid (wouldn't shock me), but that's just how I feel.

Lately, I have been having problems with my TMJ (jaw), from grinding/clenching my teeth. I also have chronic low back pain. Advil/Tylenol really doesn't help, and I know I need something stronger. Due to my fear of being labeled a drug seeker, I won't even ask. Not that I actually think they would ever give me anything regardless.

I get it, I already take 4 schedule drugs... Adding another one could seem like a bad idea, but I just want pain relief when I need it. I wouldn't even want to take something every day.

Anyone have a similar situation or suggestion? Do you think I should be honest and ask for more drugs, or do you think that would get me labeled as a drug seeker? Does anyone out there take stimulants, benzos, and opiates? Am I just being paranoid?

dvdnvwls
02-06-13, 03:03 PM
Describe the problems that are going on; don't describe the drugs you want. You are not a doctor. Saying "I have chronic low-back pain - I've tried Advil or Tylenol and they don't help" is reasonable. Saying "Give me pain-killers" is drug-seeking. Simple.

sarahsweets
02-06-13, 04:10 PM
if you walk into a doctors office and list what kind of opiates you want you will be leaving with nothing.

Lizylou84
02-06-13, 07:35 PM
Thankfully I'm not stupid enough to ask for a specific drug (that would obviously end in disaster). I would of course describe my symptoms and hopefully guide the conversation towards getting what I want (I realize this sounds manipulative, but that's not my intention). But even going about it "the right way", still makes me nervous.

Anyone have any stories about getting labeled as a drug seeker?

silivrentoliel
02-06-13, 08:20 PM
The difference, I personally believe, is exactly what dvdnvwls said... going in saying "I have severe pain that Advil isn't touching" is a patient coming in with a legitimate claim. Someone coming in and acting nervous and a little paranoid and asking or even directing a conversation (to where it's noticeable) is sketchy.

I find I have that problem though too. I hate having to call for Xanax refills because of the other meds I take... but my dr knows I have anxiety that is currently made worse by new meds... so while I might feel like he thinks I'm wanting them for the wrong reasons, in all honesty, he knows there's a problem already.

Did any of that make sense? :lol: it's been a long day

dvdnvwls
02-06-13, 08:31 PM
Thankfully I'm not stupid enough to ask for a specific drug (that would obviously end in disaster). I would of course describe my symptoms and hopefully guide the conversation towards getting what I want (I realize this sounds manipulative, but that's not my intention).
Why guide the conversation? Manipulation is absolutely your intention, unless you are just there to get your back problem dealt with. If you think you need a certain drug (or type of drug) and try to guide the doctor in that direction, you are a drug seeker. If you think you need help with back pain, you are a normal patient.

dvdnvwls
02-06-13, 08:33 PM
It may well be that the back pain needs physiotherapy and exercise, for instance.

Scooby Dude
02-06-13, 08:39 PM
Great advice. A follow up:

If the doc asks you if you have any thoughts on what prescription might be right for you, should you (a) make the suggestion you want to make, or (b) carefully script your answer to avoid any suspicion of drug seeking?

I ask because my doc surprised me by asking this question at my initial diagnostic appointment when I got my first scrip. I honestly told the doc I knew next to nothing about it (how quickly things can change), but that if whatever was prescribed came in extended release, I'd like to try that first. No issues there because I didn't know enough to ask for anything in particular.

What if I am asked again? Is it proper to say, in response to that question, "I need a higher dose" or "I'd like to try X medication"? Or keep describing symptoms and hope your meanin is understood?

The entire process gives me stress, which shows.

dvdnvwls
02-06-13, 08:44 PM
I would note that if you have a rare disease and have done extensive study of the relevant medical literature, then by all means show your doctor what you have found. Obviously, low-back pain is not in the rare-disease-research category.

dvdnvwls
02-06-13, 08:45 PM
Great advice. A follow up:

If the doc asks you if you have any thoughts on what prescription might be right for you, should you (a) make the suggestion you want to make, or (b) carefully script your answer to avoid any suspicion of drug seeking?

I ask because my doc surprised me by asking this question at my initial diagnostic appointment when I got my first scrip. I honestly told the doc I knew next to nothing about it (how quickly things can change), but that if whatever was prescribed came in extended release, I'd like to try that first. No issues there because I didn't know enough to ask for anything in particular.

What if I am asked again? Is it proper to say, in response to that question, "I need a higher dose" or "I'd like to try X medication"? Or keep describing symptoms and hope your meanin is understood?

The entire process gives me stress, which shows.
Those are good questions. I have no idea.

MellyFishButt
02-06-13, 09:44 PM
I wouldn't be worried about your current arsenal getting in the way. That's not the issue. What IS, is that most doctors will not prescribe long term ailments with short term solutions, of which opiates are now being taught in med schools to be. Usually the severe disk issue will get you opiates for a bit and then they will transfer you to a pain clinic or prescribe Nucynta (synthetic opioid with little addiction prevalence). For TMJ, they might know of a non schedule 3 drug that works. Would you be okay with that or are you only looking for an opioid? Be honest with yourself.

I am currently taking vicoprofen for a dead/fractured/root canal gone crazy and my last refill request was met with 'its time to take out the tooth'. So even in dentistry, opioids are no longer being applied for long term use. It's a new world filled with OTC or prescription strength aleive. (Which actually is really awesome for cramps by the way)

sarahsweets
02-06-13, 09:49 PM
Why guide the conversation? Manipulation is absolutely your intention, unless you are just there to get your back problem dealt with. If you think you need a certain drug (or type of drug) and try to guide the doctor in that direction, you are a drug seeker. If you think you need help with back pain, you are a normal patient.

This is a good point and one I overlooked the first go around.

Lizylou84
02-06-13, 10:09 PM
I don't think I communicated what my intention is very well. I'm not trying to get a certain drug, I'm just trying to get something that works. I'm a fairly educated and intelligent person, so I know what my options are and I have a good idea about what would probably be best for my situation. This is not to say that I'm not open to what doctors have to say, I totally am.

By saying I might "guide the conversation," I just meant that I would try and make sure they don't try and give me more ibuprofen (what they always say). Or blow me off in another way, "oh wait and see," "lose weight" "you are already on too many abusable drugs" etc. I tend to catastrophize about these situations, but I do often feel blown off by doctors.

I have also been asked about what I think about medication options, and even then, I feel nervous about saying the wrong thing. I feel almost the need to act dumb, even though I know a lot about the medications I have taken, and even ones I haven't tried (I'm a curious person and I like to read). I'm always scared that I will look like a drug seeker or that I will offend the doctor by thinking I deserve input. IMHO, I think everyone has the right and responsibility to educate themselves and have input about thier health and medications they put in their body.

unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. A lot of doctors don't listen to their patients, or falsely label them as drug seekers. I'm sure I have an element of paranoia about all of this, but I truly believe that in order to get the care you need, you need to say the right things (sometimes this may require saying things in certain ways or avoiding some things). Perfect example: If you admit to ever using illegal drugs or drinking more than 3 drinks in a night, you will probably get labeled as a substance abuser, even if your use is casual. This might make it impossible for you to get medications you need because they think you're just going to abuse it.

MellyFishButt
02-06-13, 10:38 PM
Do you have a regular GP that you go to? If you don't ask for a bunch normally I don't see why they wouldn't try...? What are you hoping to get?

Spacemaster
02-06-13, 10:45 PM
I'd caution against assuming that you know what you "need". If you have a back pain problem, and you are given better drugs, you may end up masking a deeper issue that you should've gotten treatment for.

You "need" to identify the cause of the problem. Impress upon the doctors how much pain you are in, and tell them you want to find out what is causing this. If they ask you if you want some meds, don't be afraid to say "yes", but find out what is causing your back pain.

It's easy to be defensive when people say things, like "lose weight". A doctor isn't judging you on whether or not you can fit into a size 6. Weak muscles and lots of extra pounds cause pain, like it or not. This isn't a "blow-off". Losing weight is a realistic approach to solving many health problems. Exercise can help with losing weight, but targeted exercise for your back can strengthen the muscles, therefore taking the work load off of your bones and joints.

Of course you ought to be informed. But, your knee-jerk reaction shouldn't necessarily be to add another pill. Find out what is causing the pain. Lower back pain can be caused by a number of things.

I had severe lower back pain, to the point where I couldn't lay down at night without severe spasms. I'd get hit with a spasm, randomly during the day, and it would take my breath away. Turns out, my vertebrae were pinching on my nerves. So, we solved the problem, and I never had to go on meds.

I'm not you, so my experience is different, but I do have a point: If my doc would've just prescribed me pills to numb the pain, I could've done lasting damage to the nerves in my back. I might not have gotten the proper treatment in time.

It's obvious that you have a set idea of what you "need". I'm not trying to call you out or be dismissive, please don't think that. What I'm trying to say, is that it's not appropriate to walk into the doctor's office, sure of what you "need". You may need something totally different than you thought, and you might be surprised.

Tell the doctor what you are going through. Tell them the severity of your pain. Now, let your doc decide what to do with it.

P.S., No matter what your intentions are, doctors don't take kindly to patients who insist that they know what they need. You can even be right, but if you present it that way, you'll not get your desired results.

MellyFishButt
02-06-13, 11:06 PM
Spacemaster has a good point about the nuances of meds. This weekend I ran out of my pain medication and thinking that an opiate is an opiate, my mother in law gave me 15mg of morphine she had from a recent surgery - and it did absolutely nothing for my teeth ...but my back felt better. LOL

I also learned the hard way that it makes me feel like doo-doo. Within 15 minutes absolutely everything hurt (a known phenomena that affects a small part of the population). It wasn't an allergy i don't think since I didn't have any other symptoms other than feeling like crap for an hour. But enough about me....

On the flip, if I think something would be a better solution, I share my research and reasoning behind why I came to a particular med conclusion and I usually get what I ask for. So opening up the convo as a process of collaboration could totally work...if you had the right Dr. Will you go to an ENT doctor?

awdcivic
02-06-13, 11:17 PM
You could just work your abs and back out and make the back pain go away instead of painkillers. I used to take lortabs prescribed for my back but id rather just not have the pain so I work out. Do it.

Lizylou84
02-07-13, 04:10 AM
Thanks for all the feedback guys. I'm not looking for any drug in particular. Maybe a muscle relaxer or opiate. Just something that works. Like I said, I'm totally open to whatever a doctor suggests. If they want to test me for a pinched nerve, I'm all for it.

I'm also not really overweight (maybe on the high side of normal) and I exercise. Actually the most annoying thing about my back is that it makes it harder to exercise. I've never complained about back problems before, so I guess I would go to my PCP. Don't know what an ENT is. I've just been suffering for so long with this. Not to mention that my jaw has gotten really bad too.

I guess I'll just need to sack up and get over my phobia of complaining to doctors.... Thanks for all the feedback. I really do appreciate it :)

sarahsweets
02-07-13, 06:47 AM
You say you aren't looking for a particular drug but you are looking for a particular type of drug ...I think that's what people are saying.

silivrentoliel
02-07-13, 11:57 AM
I don't think I communicated what my intention is very well. I'm not trying to get a certain drug, I'm just trying to get something that works. I'm a fairly educated and intelligent person, so I know what my options are and I have a good idea about what would probably be best for my situation. This is not to say that I'm not open to what doctors have to say, I totally am.

Thanks for all the feedback guys. I'm not looking for any drug in particular. Maybe a muscle relaxer or opiate. Just something that works. Like I said, I'm totally open to whatever a doctor suggests. If they want to test me for a pinched nerve, I'm all for it.


I believe if you go to your doctor with printouts, notes, sources, etc, there's a chance that by asking for a particular type of drugs may get you what you're asking for. However, it all depends on both the doctor and your ability to communicate effectively.

You say you aren't looking for a particular drug but you are looking for a particular type of drug ...I think that's what people are saying.

I don't think it's so much the particular type, but maybe one that does something specific rather than just a general anti-inflammatory.

dvdnvwls
02-07-13, 01:40 PM
I guess I'll just need to sack up and get over my phobia of complaining to doctors.... Thanks for all the feedback. I really do appreciate it :)
There's a huge difference between "complaining" and "explaining what's going on". If you don't explain to the doctor exactly what's wrong (which in this case is super easy: where does it hurt and how bad is it), then why even go?

MellyFishButt
02-07-13, 02:08 PM
You're supposed to tell your doctors - that's why we pay through the hooha for them!! Let them know and often and you'll get your sitch figured out...promise.

Swhite1
05-05-13, 02:47 PM
You take four schedule drugs.....I only see three....and yes I get judged all the time.....I tell them I suffer from this and they smile and I know inside there head they are thinking, Ya right!...But whats different about you and I is I do have a addictive persona and have abused the psych meds I have like ambien alot....I told the doc I want off my ritalin and my ambien and xanax.....and now I only take one which is klonopin...and all that does is make my Pure O OCD go away. I'm trying tho. I'm not trying to get addicted when I have been sober from meth for eight yr's.....I don't abuse the klonopin either. I have to have what I need to get by....Sorry if I make you feel like there judging you....I'm trying to be sober minded and mind my manners.

Mandalagirl
05-07-13, 01:56 PM
I agree with what Spacemaster is saying. I had severe neck pain and was getting migraines. My doc quickly prescribed me percocet because at first we thought they were from chronic migraines. Month two happens and I still had the severe pain. I asked him to feel my upper neck and shoulder and what I had done was injured my neck muscles so he sent me to physical therapy. It was much better than being doped up all the time on pain killers all the time.

So many doctors are so quick to drug you up without looking into what the real problems are. I can understand your frustration, I had a friend with severe mental problems where docs did that to her all the time, she had neck pain and ended up having a cyst blocking nerves so it caused her pain all the time.

My advice, write down a pain log. Put down what is causing the most pain..like when you lie down etc...For me making lists are hard but it can be helpful, and for me it was a way to keep the conversation focused on the issue.

Tiger_Lily
05-07-13, 03:52 PM
Providing the most information possible to the doctor is key.

I have "x" symptoms. It occurs when "y." When it occurs it affects me in "z" ways. From there you may go to: "I think it may be this" or "I've tried this and "x" symptoms were not relieved, worsened, etc."

Then listen to the doctor. You may need to remind him of the above, but by working together, I hope you can find a solution, whether medication and/or another treatment.

In any case, sometimes pain that cannot be treated with OTCs can be treated with non-opioid drugs.

Darksanity
05-15-13, 11:49 PM
Why guide the conversation? Manipulation is absolutely your intention, unless you are just there to get your back problem dealt with. If you think you need a certain drug (or type of drug) and try to guide the doctor in that direction, you are a drug seeker. If you think you need help with back pain, you are a normal patient.
That means I am a totally and proudly a drug-seeker. Who cares really anyway? I don't abuse my prescriptions, I don't sell my prescriptions, and I'm not a ******* danger to society. Truth is most doctors and psychiatrist have NOT A DARN CLUE HOW YOU FEEL NOR DO THEY KNOW HOW THE DRUGS THEY PRESCRIBE FEEL.

WHat is priority #1 for doctors? Keeping their career.
Priority #2? Not getting sued.
Priority #3? Money.
Your health comes only after those 3 are guaranteed.

So yeah I have nothing against "drug-seeking" especially with GPs and mental health issues. Most GPs have no understanding of neuroscience and believe everything drug companies say as fact. Result is stupid theories commonly held to be true among physicians like "increasing serotonin solves depression, anxiety, ocd, etc" or "opiates & adderall are bad bad bad wrong bad". God I hate this system - everyone has to pay and suffer because a few idiots abuse meds or sue physicians for every little thing.

Personally I don't even try to manipulate or guide to discussion to obtain meds anymore. I just ask right away "I wanna try xxxx". If they say no I explain my theory, pull a few studies, and usually I get what I want (being reasonable helps too). Of course I don't ask for pain-killers... Because theres no way in hell one can reason a doctor into giving oxycodone unless you've been dealing with excruciating pain every day for a couple years.

EDIT: Just realized the OP wants opiates... Truth is "low-back pain" is not a good reason for opiates. Low-back pain more often than not has an underlying cause; bad posture, obesity, sitting all day, etc. Now if you're top-shape with perfect posture and everything and still have disabling chronic low-back pain then you may be able to reason a doctor into giving tramadol or the newer tapentadol.

kimical
05-20-13, 10:58 AM
I have TMJ/TMD and it isn't really something you take pills for. You either need braces, surgery, crowns, or you have to focus on not clenching or grinding during the day. Also a common side effect of ADHD medication is bruxism which can cause or worsen TMD.

If you take pills, even if it's only advil, you're being dependent on the pill to fix the problem when you can fix it with dental work.

here's a good video on it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0X5pwhvSh0

Klaus_The_Fish
08-01-13, 03:54 PM
Medically speaking, whether having an evaluation in the near future may be more beneficial to help determine "what is new and what's next" -&/or, setting up an appointment with a Neurologist in order to schedule an EKG, SPECT-scan (single-photon-emission-computed-tomography), nonetheless, internal medicine is relatively proven to be more effective in treating symptoms than cognitive behavioral therapy or other forms of psychotherapy. One would STRONGLY recommend looking into a slow-release, under-prescribed, somewhat "newer" psychiatric medication that hasn't already been on the pharmaceutical market for nearly two decades. As they may provide more efficiency in which symptoms they're treating, -&, to some degree, providing longer half-life as their counterparts now model unique dosing strategies which greatly varies on the individual. Their effectiveness can improve steadily especially when used in conjunction with other medication as completion of treatment. With that being said, you have to "work" alongside any medication in which has been prescribed to you for any given situation. -
-Briefly, Having previously been written prescriptions for both Amphetamine Salts (Adderrall) as well as Benzodiazepine (Xanax, Klonopin), the "personal" opinion of my experience with these specific medications would conclude they're not for everyone (ex. those prone to addictive personality.) Furthermore, Neuro-psychiatric analyst commonly indicate their evaluating patient chemically imbalanced. Neurotransmitters of the patients brain in which may not provide their pre-frontal lobe cortex levels needed of norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin -which, in turn candidates their risk of external dependency regarding addiction, if you will.)

Modafinilguy
01-07-14, 12:53 AM
Clonidine reduces the physical tension side effects of stimulants, dose must be gradually worked up over various weeks.

Also Clonidine is used as an adjunct in severe cancer pain management, so it has some pain killing properties. It also though alpha 2a adrenoreceptor agonism, is believed to independently improve ADHD symptoms.

For physical tension, general pain, or stimulant induced anxiety, my personal choice would be Clonidine.

Anastasia
01-07-14, 02:13 AM
I would then suggest asking for something stronger that is a non-narcotic, non-opioid. If you put an emphasis on that immediately, drug seeking could not be an issue. There are in fact so many more non-narcotic Rx options than ibuprofen.

Being in recovery, and the medical field I could not possibly guide the conversation either. I am in no position to say what you are currently on isn't needed, but I would do everything in my power not to add to an amphetamine, a benzo, and a hypnotic/ sedative. It's a great way not to wake up. Narcotic polly-pharmacy is "usually" the cause of involuntary overdose, not one drug. Doctors and pharmacists in this situation are correct to raise a red flag.

"You have an idea about what is probably best for your situation" This might be why drug-seeking is on your mind.

You have to ask yourself if you want to add another Rx in your system period, it's a heavy cocktail.

I say this with the best of intentions and sincerity.

Sickle
06-05-15, 09:22 PM
Why guide the conversation? Manipulation is absolutely your intention, unless you are just there to get your back problem dealt with. If you think you need a certain drug (or type of drug) and try to guide the doctor in that direction, you are a drug seeker. If you think you need help with back pain, you are a normal patient.

True, in regards to being a drug seeker but drug seeking behavior is seen from DTC advertising as well as those who are antibiotic addicts too. I will personally tell them what meds I have taken and would prefer but I often have files to back it up. It is drug seeking behavior but it doesn't imply necessarily that they are addicted or anything.

Twiggy
06-05-15, 10:18 PM
Needing drugs = Drug seeker