Diagnosing drug-seeking behaviour in an adult emergency department

McNabb, Charley, Foot, Carole, Ting, Joseph, Breeze, Katina and Stickley, Mark (2006) Diagnosing drug-seeking behaviour in an adult emergency department. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 18 2: 138-142. doi:10.1111/j.1742-6723.2006.00821.x

Author McNabb, Charley
Foot, Carole
Ting, Joseph
Breeze, Katina
Stickley, Mark
Title Diagnosing drug-seeking behaviour in an adult emergency department
Journal name Emergency Medicine Australasia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1035-6851
Publication date 2006-04-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1742-6723.2006.00821.x
Volume 18
Issue 2
Start page 138
End page 142
Total pages 5
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Subject 321000 Clinical Sciences
Formatted abstract
Objective: The objective of the present study were to determine factors used by ED doctors to diagnose drug seeking and their attitude towards management of this patient group.

Methods: Prospective, descriptive study, of doctors working in a tertiary hospital ED. Doctors voluntarily identified patients they suspected were drug seeking and completed a written survey.

Thirty-seven surveys were completed for presentations involving 31 patients. A patient's specific request for narcotics, previous documented episodes of suspected drug seeking, an unwillingness to try simple analgesia and demanding or aggressive behaviour were the most frequently used factors for diagnosing drug seeking. These factors are similar to, but not the same, as the criteria in the literature. Doctors commonly found consultations involving drug seeking to be unsatisfying.

 Factors, such as those used by doctors in the present study, should not be used as diagnostic markers. Further study is warranted in order to improve the effectiveness of consultations involving drug seeking.
Keyword Addiction
Drug addiction
Emergency department
Substance dependence
Substance-related disorder
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 10 May 2006, 10:00:00 EST by Joseph Y. Ting on behalf of School of Medicine