Originally Posted by Beldaran
I've also heard nurses label patients as drug seekers with little to no info to back it up, and others get pegged as attention seeking if they ask for too many pain medications. So yeah, if I hear those kind of things as a student nurse, I'm sure it's been told to patient's faces as well.
Certainly. Pain control is a huge problem in medicine that nobody seems to like to talk about. Too many practitioners seem to think that keeping drugs from a drug seeker is more important than treating pain, so they're too conservative and timid in their treatment. The patient is left with uncontrolled pain, which stresses their system, compromises their sleep - just generally messes everything up.
Of course, a patient who actually has struggled with substance abuse has it worst. They get hit with a one-two punch - they're likely to be assumed to be drug seeking to begin with, while their history of drug use may have left them with a tolerance that causes them to require a different treatment or a higher dose. Having been labeled as drug-seeking, they're too often just left to suffer.