Drug Addiction in the Hospital Setting
> 11/29/2005 1:34:24 PM

This is a great post from over at Cosmic Watercooler.  The writer, an RN working in Colorado, relates the story of being duped by an addict into providing pain killers.  This story highlights the added difficulty of dealing with drug addicts in a hospital setting.  Each day doctors and nurses see patients who are in pain, and asking them to differentiate between those who need pain killers and those who need pain killers to feed an addiction is not always feasible. 

William E. Hapworth M.D., contributor to The Psychology of Combating Stress, Depression and Addiction, related a similar story to me from when he was doing a medical internship at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.  While there, a patient came into the hospital and presented with renal colic (Kidney Pain).  He also tested positively for blood in his urine.  These were classic signs of kidney stones, and as such, the appropriate course of treatment would be to arrange for an opiate to be administered IntraVenously to treat his pain.

Dr. Hapworth reported to his Attending the proposed course of treatment and the Attending said, "Watch, I'll show you something."  The Attending doctor went into the complaining patient's room and explained that they would immediately scope him with a large scope in his penis to grab the kidney stones and that the procedure would be very painful.  The doctor then wheeled around and before he could leave the patient's room, the patient, who previously had been in terrible pain, stormed out of the hospital signing our AMA.

These types of situations are not terribly uncommon, and are considered to be an off-shoot of Munchausen's Syndrome, a psychological disorder where patients fake symptoms for a variety of reasons.


i think that these peope should search for help. life without these drugs would be much better for them. they wouldn't have to worry about taking these pills everyday and feeling like crap if they dont. and for the ones who are extremely addicted to them, where they take like 20 or more a day, they wont have to worry about the withdrawls and running out of pills and even pulling schemes on their doctors to get perscribed pills. these people wouldn't really have to check into treatment centers and pay alot of money, unless ofcourse theyre in real desire for it and theres no other sollution. simply talking with others who are in the same position as themselves may help alot. websites like addicted.com or myspace.com's groups may help drastically!
Posted by: jenny 3/12/2007 6:42:55 AM

Post Your Comments

Post a comment
Email Address:
Verification Code:
Input the 8 characters you see above:


Drug Abuse
Sexual Addiction
Eating Disorders
Alzheimer's Disease

About TOL | Contact Us | Defining Behavioral Fitness | For Healthcare Professionals | Links | Privacy Policy