9 White Lies You Need to Stop Telling Your Docs
If you're not telling the whole truth (and nothing but the truth), you could be harming your health
Why you should 'fess up: Your doctor isn't your mom or dad. Lying about your recreational drug use puts you in an extremely dangerous situation if you're undergoing surgery and could signal a deeper, underlying drug problem that could potentially spiral if your doctor is prescribing addictive medication.
Recreational drugs come in two categories these days: legal (think prescription painkillers) and illegal (think cocaine). If it's legal, you may "forget" to mention that you were prescribed Oxycontin for an injury and maybe took the drug for a bit longer than medically required. "If I know a patient has had substance abuse issues in the past, I'm more likely to avoid medications with addictive potential to keep the problem from spiraling," says Alabama-based Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith.
If you dabble in the illegal variety, your doctor isn't going to rat on you and have you arrested. On the flip side, if your doctor doesn't know you smoke weed or occasionally do coke, surgeries and anesthesia become dramatically more dangerous and risky. "Patients who are not actively on a drug like cocaine may still have organs effected by chronic drug use. This could mean needing different drugs during an operation to control blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias, but if the anesthesiologist and I don't know that, it's extremely problematic," says Doft.
SEE NEXT PAGE: The lie: "I'm not taking anything."