(This is a comment Jake Squid left on a prior thread on “Alas.” Jake’s wife has had chronic pain for 12 years. –Amp)
Almost anything you do, if you suffer chronic pain, is viewed as drug seeking behavior. Going to multiple doctors in an attempt to get help? Yeah, you’re a drug seeker. Asking for a higher dose? Drug seeker. Hoarding? Drug seeker. Questions or complaints about random drug test policy? Drug seeker. Past history of recreational drug use? You’re a drug seeker.
This gives the patient no power and tons of stress worrying about being labeled a drug seeker and cut off from the (usually minimal) relief that they are getting. It’s an abysmally designed system.
If you ever wind up with chronic pain, here are some suggestions that may help you:
* Never admit to any recreational drug use. It doesn’t matter if you had a single hit off a bong when you were 14. Deny having ever touched a recreational drug. You should probably also say that you never drink alcohol. If you’ve ever gotten high or drunk, you’re probably a drug seeker.
* If you have to go to more than one MD to get help, don’t report any doctor you’ve given up on. Carry your medical records with you & let the new office make copies. Hide doctor shopping as well as you’re able. Unfortunately, changing doctors because of changing health insurance coverage will be counted as doctor shopping. Doctor shopping is classic drug seeking behavior.
* Never question your pain doctor. Nothing good will come of it.
* When answering the doctor’s questions, pretend that you’re being questioned by the opposing lawyer at trial or an EBT. Your standard answers should be, “Yes,” “No,” “I don’t know,” or “I don’t remember.” Provide as little detail as you can while sticking to the point that you are in intolerable pain. The doctor doesn’t want to hear your story. Things that you think are important are a distraction and can and will be interpreted as a sign of drug seeking behavior.
* Do not miss an appointment. Although severe pain is clearly a valid reason that a person might miss an appointment, it will be viewed as – Surprise! – drug seeking behavior. If you have to kill your partner, kidnap small children or take a bus driver hostage in order to make it to your appointment, do it.
* Dress as well as you can. The richer you appear, the less likely you’ll be thought of as a drug seeker. Buy a suit, buy a cocktail dress. Look like you have money.
* If you do happen to find a good doctor, one who cares more about your pain than worries that you’re scamming them for drugs, advertise the doctor everywhere you go online. People desperately need reviews of docs in order to have any chance of finding one who will help.
I’m sure that there’s more that I’ve learned over the last twelve years, but they’re not coming to mind at the moment.