Objectively defined as present when a patient has > or = 4 opioids prescriptions by > or = 4 providers in the 12 months before emergency department (ED) evaluation.
Predictors for drug-seeking behavior: a patient who requests opioid medications by name (nearly twice as frequently than other ED patients), has had multiple visits for same complaint (at 2.5 times the level of other ED patients), and has a subjective rating of symptoms out of proportion to examination.
This information is from studies in a high-income country, but it may be also useful for countries in other socioeconomic levels.
See reference for more information.
Weiner SG et al. Clinician impression versus prescription drug monitoring program criteria in the assessment of drug-seeking behavior in the emergency department. Ann Emerg Med. 2013 Oct;62(4):281-289.