PAINWeek Course Preview: Suspicion—What Should I Do if I Think My Patient is Diverting, Abusing, or Both?

Give us a brief overview of your course at PAINWeek 2015?

Prescribers are often at a loss on what to do when confronted with the possibility that their patients may be diverting or abusing the drugs they have been prescribed. These dilemmas raise a myriad of issues involving trust, deception, liability, patient privacy, ethics, patient termination, abandonment, referral and treatment. This roundtable of medico-legal experts will explore these issues and offer specific suggestions when facing such matters.

Who should plan to attend?

Prescribers and other health care professionals involved in the treatment of pain and prescribing of drugs.

What will course participants learn that they can take back to their practices?

Participants will gain an appreciation for the difficulty in determining whether a patient is deceiving the health care provider, and the ethical issues involved when dealing with such issues. They will be briefed on legal options available when presented with a patient who may be diverting, has a substance abuse problem, or both, and they will be equipped to develop a strategy to guide future prescribing protocols and actions.

What is the “essential pearl” that PAINWeek participants will miss, if they miss your course?

Distinguishing between legitimate and deceptive patients can be difficult. Patients may exhibit aberrant behaviors but the origin of such behavior may be untreated pain. Other patients may have a substance abuse problem, or may be deceiving the prescriber to obtain prescription drugs for profit. Any effort to deter abuse and ensure appropriate access may not be 100% fool proof, but with proper management and monitoring, asking the right questions, and taking the necessary steps in response to what you find, can help ensure good patient care and achieve reduction in abuse and misuse.

As you review the Schedule and design your course agenda for PAINWeek 2015, plan to make this Special Interest Session (SIS-20) a part of your PAINWeek experience! We look forward to your participation at PAINWeek: The National Conference on Pain for Frontline Practitioners!

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