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The Opportunistic Drug Seeker

Unlike the Desperate Drug Seeker, the Opportunistic Drug Seeker is not desperate; they just take advantage of (what they believe to be) an opportunity. The Opportunistic Drug Seeker normally attempts to obtain schedule 2 or 3 drugs for their own use or for extra money.

Reasons (Mindset)

These are people who gain schedule 2 or 3 medication:

  • Because they believe prescription drugs are safer to use;
  • They like the affect of certain prescription drugs;
  • Less risk of going to; jail and/or
  • Easy to sell on the street to make extra money.

"If I get it, great, if I don't, no big deal".

The opportunistic drug seeker does not care what anyone thinks of them. They do not mind being caught by the clinician and terminated from a practice, but they do not want to go to jail or be charged with a drug offense.

It is not uncommon for opportunistic drug seekers to work with professional drug seekers or become professional drug seekers.

If they find little to no safeguards in place and if they perceive that the only negative issue is that the clinician may discharge them from the clinic if they are caught, they will likely target the clinic.

Clinics Selection

They will look for signs of weakness.

  • Clinic’s location; and/or
  • Clinic’s appearance.

They may select their target clinic based on:

  • What people (general public) say about the clinic; or
  • What patients say about the clinic.

Method

They will make up a symptom - act out the part or be very friendly. Will do whatever he/she can do to fit in.

Attitude

The doctor works for me - I’ll tell them what I want to tell them – prove I am not in pain. They may act like they have control over the conversation (somewhat arrogant) or may want to become friends.

Flags

  • May ask for a specific prescription.
  • May request change of medication hoping to get the medication they really want.
  • May appear controlling or very friendly.
  • May bring gift/s.
  • Subconscious verbal and non-verbal behavior may present.
  • May seem less intense than the desperate drug seeker.

Safeguards

  1. Complete a thorough patient assessment during new patient intake.
  2. Maintain a strong patient agreement that emphasizes patient accountability practices.
  3. Enforce your patient agreement.
  4. Consider placing a sign in your lobby that states "Illegal drug seeking behavior will be reported and prosecuted by this clinic".If you provide a safeguard that makes this person believe that they will be prosecuted if they are caught, they will likely pass you by and go to another clinic.
  5. Conduct pill counts and urine testing. Note: Assess lab conformations, not presumptive test results.
  6. Utilize the Rx Monitoring Program if provided by your state.

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