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How do I ask my doctor for a specific pain or sleep aid without sounding like a drug seeker?


If you have a history of using these medications whichever way you word it your going to come across like a drug seeker, even if you have no history these types of medication set off alarm bells for most doctors.

How you approach it with your doctor would depend on your situation, and the reason you feel this would help you.  For example if you say something like ' hey Dr I cant sleep, my friend gave me some of their medication I think it's called Valium, it helped me get to sleep and I was wondering could you give me some'  This is likely to go down like a tonne of bricks.

I've never been successful with the sleeping medication as I have a history (TEN BLADDY YEARS AGO!!!) of opiate abuse, and to this day my GP wouldn't give them to me unless I was having some sort of fit on the floor lol, but the best way I would think to approach the sleeping issue would be.  Explain how long you've been having problems sleeping, when can you sleep, how this effects your day.  Tell your Dr about things you have tried like (This is what they will recommend at first) A warm glass of milk, a relaxing lavender bath an hour before bed, turning off the TV and unwinding before be, trying to sleep at the same time each night to form a routine, or even over the counter treatments such as nytol, then ask can they suggest or prescribe anything in the short term that may help you to get back into a sleeping pattern.   You may actually want to try some of those ideas first, see if it does help you at all.


The pain medication again depends on many things, what pain are you having, what pain relief are you trying to get prescribed?  For most patients even ones with no experience or drug use/abuse, there is a channel the Dr's use to find the right medication and the right dose for you.  They start with the paracetamol, anti inflamitaries.  If for some reason these are ineffective or not strong enough, they may try something else, or this may be when they refer you to a specialist.  For example if you are suffering back pain, they may ask for x-rays, send you to physiotherapy, suggest light excersize or heat lamps/heat patches.  It takes a while to acquire stronger medication and this is a good thing as most people don't actually need it or can resolve their pain with the other methods suggested by the DR.

As far as asking for the pain medication, again I'd describe your symptoms to your DR, how they are effecting your day, and night is this why you can't sleep?  Be happy to try anything they suggest, don't dismiss it saying 'no thats not strong enough I know it wont work'  Try each medication then if it is not helping return stating what the problems were asking is there something else more effective.  Unless you Dr had prescribed the medication you are trying to get again if it is an opiate I would avoid asking for it outright.  If they have given it to you in the past, or another DR has, and it's o n your record, then you could mention that relieved your symptoms and is there anything along those lines he/she could give you for the short term, until the cause of the pain can be discovered and treated.  Don't go in giving the impression you want this long term,  if they think you want on and off as fast as possible they may be more inclined to help, or take you seriously.  If you feel you do have an issue with benozo's (sleeping pills) or opiates (certain stronger pain relief) instead of asking your Dr for them or doing the above, why not just tell them and ask for help, or seek help at your local D&A clinic.  If this is not the issue I apologies  and as above most GP's will work through various medications until they find one that relieves your symptoms.

I hope this helps you<3