“Drug seeker” is a term referring to patients who use the health care system to obtain drugs, usually narcotics. I’ve had my share of drug seeking patients but two stick out. The first is Amelia. Amelia was on huge doses of Oxycontin and came in complaining of abdominal pain. She was experiencing such bad constipation from the Oxycontin that she was impacted. She was treating the abdominal pain with more narcotics, which was not helping. She was so impacted that she had to use her finger to remove stool from her rectum. Being impacted is not only gross, it’s dangerous. Amelia could end up with a paralyzed bowel or a bowel perforation.
Despite the impaction, she wanted the doctors to write her a prescription for more Oxycontin. The doctors, rightly, said that they would only write her a prescription for a taper (i.e. decreasing) dose to help her get off the drugs without going through a painful withdrawal. Amelia said, “If you don’t give my drugs, I’m just going to go home and smoke a big fat blunt!” The doctors told her that they wished she wouldn’t but they sent her on her merry way.