Medication Abuse

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I cared for a patient the other day who is well known to our facility. She is an insulin dependant diabetic and extremely labile. Unfortunately, she is also a cocaine addict and abuses prescription pain medicines. The physician wanted her to be admitted to the psychiatric unit for detox. A crisis consult was made and a social worker came to evaluate her. The social worker was unable to evaluate her because she was so “snowed” on the medications we had given her she was unable to speak clearly or stay awake for the interview. The physician had prescribed dilaudid every two hours, vicodin every four hours, xanax every four hours and soma every eight hours. This was done because of the medication reconciliation form that we fill out on each patient on admission. It just seems as though nurses and physicians sometimes contribute to the abuse issues.

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