Pain or Drug Seekers


It can be difficult for some to accept that pain intensity is what the patient expresses but makes it harder to believe if it is coming from a drug user. I hear frequently from healthcare workers that have patients with a history of drug use are automatically labeled as a drug seeker. They make this assessment without seeing the patient. While the patient seems to be in pain based on subjective and objective data. This type of attitude is harmful to the patients that come in for care. If the patient is truly in pain and is just written off as a drug user that patient is not getting the care that we are suppose to be providing to all humans. Healthcare workers eventually get jaded from working over the years with drug seekers that it makes it difficult to see every patient as a new patient without bringing past baggage along. It is important to use our assessment skills prior to making assumptions.

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