Sunday, August 1, 2010

Drug-seeking fun

As with any medical doctor’s office, there are the occasional patients who come to us hoping that we’ll support their addiction to prescription medications. We generally refer to them (outside their hearing, as insulting them to their faces would be "unprofessional") as "seekers," short for "drug-seekers." We don’t prescribe narcotics, but we do regularly prescribe Valium, Xanax, and Ativan to patients who have legitimate anxiety problems.

Life happens, and people do lose their medications for strange reasons. (My brother used to have a disturbed German Shepherd that liked to snack on bottles of Percocet.) Our clinic's policy is pretty simple: The first mishap is a "freebie," but if you seem to be especially accident-prone, we will start to grow concerned.

This past week was especially noteworthy for lost meds. It seemed like three or four people called each day wanting us to authorize another prescription. After yet another patient telephoned to complain that someone had stolen her Valium (for the second time that month,) SuperNP got annoyed.

“My God, does no one ever steal these people’s blood pressure medication? Why don’t their antibiotics get flushed down the toilet accidentally? Do their dogs just not like to eat cholesterol pills? Why is it that only the entertaining drugs that get lost and need replaced?”

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