How to get red flagged

This comprehensive list has been culled from several different sources. Some behaviors are “more aberrant” and some are “less aberrant.” All patients should be aware that if you exhibit ANY of these behaviors, you could be denied pain care. A patient who shows any of these behaviors can be “red flagged.” When you are “red flagged” your doctor or pharmacist will not tell you about your “flagged” status and it is almost impossible to have the designation removed from your record…

How to Get Red Flagged:

  • Complain to your doctor when your medications don’t seem to ease your pain
  • Have a preoccupation with getting your medication
  • Report effects like increased energy, raised mood, or euphoria since you started taking pain medication
  • Primarily find oxycontin, percocet, dilaudid, or lortab to be the most effective drug that helps your pain symptoms
  • Express anxiety or depression about your pain when it doesn’t go away
  • Look “unkempt”
  • Have piercings and/or tattoos
  • Talk to your doctor specifically about your medication during more than three visits
  • Don’t tolerate many medications well
  • Don’t get any relief from anything other than opioid medication
  • Fill prescriptions of a similar kind by another doctor
  • Have had problems in work, family, or other important family roles where people have said you have failed in your responsibilities
  • Have problems with close relationships in your life
  • Have a psychiatric history (Done therapy in the past)
  • Have legal problems
  • Have family who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Have family members who suspect that your drugs may make you an addict
  • Have family members who believe you are addicted
  • Use more than 180mgs of opioids per day
  • Prefer one type of medication administration than another (Prefer slow-acting pills instead of daily injections at the ER, or expressing an aversion to having a morphine pump installed in your body, for example)
  • Become angry when your physician refuses to treat your pain
  • Use other drugs at the same time as your pain meds (Including alcohol)
  • Get medication from someone, not a doctor, for your pain
  • Taken someone else’s pain medication
  • Switch doctors until you find one who will treat your pain
  • Call or visit your doctor often
  • Have used more than one pharmacy to get your medication filled
  • Ever miss appointments with your doctor
  • Ever lose your medication or your prescriptions
  • Only see a doctor a few times before you switched to a doctor who would treat your pain and reported that to your doctor
  • Have a previous doctor who believed you are or were addicted to your medications
  • Request specific medication for your pain
  • Request your medication by name
  • Request more medication
  • Report no effects of other medications
  • Have bad reactions to your medications
  • Go to the ER a lot to get your pain treated
  • Believe you might become addicted to medication
  • Have contact with “street culture” or other “subcultures”
  • Raise your dose once or twice before you see your doctor again because of increased pain
  • Use your medication to treat another symptom that you have not previously mentioned to your doctor
  • Save your medications even if you do not need them anymore
  • Refuse some treatments or tests suggested by your doctor

If you or a loved one in is in pain, link to them at: (Site is for sale — PRN shut down in 2010.)

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