Doctors in the national capital said they encounter patients who create stories to get prescriptions of harmful painkillers on a daily basis.
They raised an alert asking medical specialists to be wary of those who fake pain to receive medication – called substance abusers – and refer them for counselling.
Dr Ahmed Al Khatib, general practitioner at Universal Hospital, said: “It’s unfortunately far too common seeing patients present made-up symptoms, such as back aches and stomach pain. We get these types of patients on a daily basis. They request strong drugs, such as morphine, pethidine, tramadol and lyrica, pretending they have severe pain.”
According to him, every doctor must hold strong ethical and moral values and refuse to give such patients deadly medication
Dr Al Khatib highlighted that the matter of substance abuse is immensely grey and complex within the society because it is a topic that is often avoided due to social norms.
So, the best option for any doctor that encounters substance abusers should simply be to refer them to a psychiatrist.
“They need to seek help, so I send them to counselling or psychotherapy for drug addiction control,” he noted.
Dr Kiran Kumar, trauma and spine surgeon from LLH Hospital, said that he also encounters patients who come to him with fake symptoms.
“I have patients arriving at the hospital with false stories of injuries, pretending they have a certain back pain.
“They mostly demand medicines such as lyrica and tramadol, which are pain killers. These patients would over use these drugs to get a kick out of them, just like cocaine or any other drug.”
Dr Kumar pointed out that the issue with such patients has become so complex that they often not only demand painkillers, but even threaten him if he refuses to provide it.
“There were instances when some patients were shouting at me, threatening they will have me deported if I don’t give them what they want.”
He noted that despite the threats and insults he often receives from substance abusers, he refuses to give in, simply because it is unethical.
“No matter what they say to me, no matter how much they threaten me, I will still refuse to give them any drug. However, I do call the police on them.”
As the issue remains multi-layered, it could only be treated through methodical counselling or rehabilitation.
© Khaleej TimesNov 2015