Dear drug seekers

Dear drug seekers,

You know who you are. You're the one with fibromyalgia (stage 4, at least) having a flare-up and you're out of your pain meds. You have abdominal pain that needs a big workup you aren't going to pay for and we won't find a cause for. You have back pain or dental pain that can't be ignored or explained. You know what to say to get what you want.

Some of you are nice about it if you're caught out and leave without a fuss. Some of you know you're not sick at all and wait quietly until sicker patients are seen.

But I want to talk to those of you who are making up pain and illness to feed your addictions and throwing temper tantrums when you don't get what you want. I want you to know what you're really costing society when you do what you do. I want to try to help you understand that your addiction is hurting you, other patients, healthcare professionals who are working harder than you ever will to help people and have lives, and the healthcare system in general.

  • The doctor you complained about all the way up the chain because you didn't get Dilaudid for your mosquito bites? Got fired because now refusing to treat pain is malpractice. Congratulations. Now our community is short an experienced emergency physician.
  • The nurse you kicked "accidentally" because you were in so much "pain"? Has to have an ACL repair and will be off work for months. And unlike you, she will have to pay for her medical care, and she has a job from which she will receive less money and may even lose because of her absence.
  • The other nurse, the one who had a spotless record, you complained about because she didn't give you your pain medicine, which the physician was responsible for not ordering? You did that after that nurse had worked for hours to save a baby's life and failed. She left nursing because you kicked her when she was down, one too many times. Congratulations. Now our community is short an experienced and compassionate nurse.
  • The patient down the hall who is quiet because he is in too much pain from his unknown femur fracture to reach for the call light? Well, he lost so much blood he had to go to another trauma center because your nurse was so busy dealing with your screams and demands that she couldn't get in there to see him when the ambulance got there. Congratulations. You cost a fellow human being a huge medical bill, health complications, and possibly his life.

Is it worth it?