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MN Psychiatrist
MN Psychiatrist, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 792
Experience:  Physician for 17 years, adult psychiatrist for 13 years working with a wide variety of patients.
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I visted a new psych md today. I told her I self medicated

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I visted a new psych md today. I told her I self medicated anxiety with tramadol. I told her I needed help getting off tramadol and treating anxiety. I am a registered nurse and work part time in a hospital. I have never done anything illegal on or off work. I have never done anything inappropriate at work. She is threatening to report my problems with tramadol to the state board of nursing. Is she allowed to do this?
Hello, I am a psychiatrist.
To answer your question, if you are not prescribed the Tramadol specifically to treat your anxiety (and it would be a very odd choice to treat anxiety), then yes, she is allowed to do this.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

1. I was prescribed the med, though not for anxiety.


2. Why would she want to? I never acted in apporpriately at work. I have not broken a law. I cane to her for help. Is this just a threat to comply with a program or is she required to do this. Tramadol is not controlled.

She's likely concerned that you are abusing it. While it is not controlled, it is quite arguable that it appears to have mind altering properties - for some people, at least.

Using a prescribed medication for other than its prescribed use constitutes self-prescribing. Whether or not a law is broken, it looks "sloppy." It is not viewed as "okay" in any respect. Whether or not Tramadol is controlled is not an issue. At times, patients abuse the most innocuous agents - including nonprescription Benadryl, or even water. Benadryl taken to excess, and leading to seizures, can be just as dangerous as a controlled substance. Water, consumed excessively, can be life-threatening. It has nothing to do with whether or not a substance is controlled. It has to do with judgment.Would you want your boss to know that you were treating your own anxiety by using a medication that was not prescribed to do that?

If my license were on the line, I wouldn't assume that she was doing this just to ensure compliance with some particular agenda (at least an agenda other than getting you to stop treating anxiety with Tramadol.). I'd encourage you to take this very seriously; you do not need to have the nursing Board on your back about this.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

It is sloppy, terrible, and unethical, that is why I want help. BUT, is she allowed, and again why would she do this. I want help before I get in trouble with the board of nursing. I am a good nurse. I shared this with her because I thought it would be confidential.

She is allowed to do this if she is concerned that this may be impacting the care of the patients under your care. If she is concerned, that would explain why she would want to do this, too, in order to protect them from medication errors, etc. She may also be simply concerned about your clinical judgment.

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