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"junky patients"

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by joejoe75, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. joejoe75

    joejoe75 2+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    for lack of a better term. Can a pharmacist tell when a patient is addicted to a controlled substance (oxycontin, percocet, valium, xanax) and takes it only for recreational purposes, as opposed to someone who legitimately needs it for what its prescribed for?
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  3. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    In certain circumstances yes, in other circumstances maybe not so much. The easiest way to tell is if they try to pass a fake scrip. If the scrip is valid it can be less clear without "help" from the patient. Verbal cues, etc. I don't have any personal experience in the matter, but it was explained by a DPH who taught my pharmacology class, he also happened to be the coordinator for the intern sites for our techs, so he gets a lot of stories from his old students.
  4. rx27563

    rx27563 Hopefully 08' 2+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    after almost 6 years retail experience i can spot them a mile away....honestly when someone runs up to the drop off and tries to be too "chatty" and fake then proceeds to hand you an old wrinkled up CII script and when asked for insurance they reply "im paying cash".......more than likely they are druggies and i see this nearly everyday. we have regular narcoholics and new ones that are harder to figure out but one thing is certain: if there is a way to get pain medicine they will figure it out!

    oh yeah and my favorite is when they bring you an antibiotic and a pain medicine written on the same script and "only want the pain medicine now.." my PIC actually wont allow this anymore, she says you either get just the antibiotic or both.
  5. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    That's funny. I got a scrip for abx and some pain med (I don't remember since its been 11 years ago now) when my wisdom teeth were extracted. I took the abx until they were gone but never touched the pain meds. Once the abx were gone I ground the pain meds up and washed them down the sink. Amazing that some people would do the same in reverse. Silly people.
  6. sdn1977

    sdn1977 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Joe - to give you a bit of a different perspective.....yes, I can spot those "junkies". But, its a bit more difficult to spot those folks who tend to "slide" slowly into dependence.

    These folks often have more than one prescriber - the orthopod for their back pain, the dentist for their root canal, their podiatrist for their bunions....the issue is not their individual medical/dental evets - its their seeking out treatement for each event, which may or may not be justifiable.

    Pain is a complicated issue - tied to changes in the mu receptors due to chronic use of opiods, depression, loneliness, justifiable medical reasons for chronic opiates.....Its important for us to help those who need our assistance. Sometimes, its helping them get to the provider who can tie everything together - a psychiatrist or a pain physician. Sometimes, its just helping them deal with the issues tied with a chronic medical condition that has not cure - just treatment for symptoms. Then...there is just the abuser - we can help them sometimes as well.....thats what started the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic.

    There is a difference between addiction (which is a normal event for one who consistently uses opiates) & drug seeking behavior. Those are two different medical events.

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