August 11, 2017
Addiction is not always intentional. I'd like to tell you a very true and very sad story.
Doctors are careless in prescription management. Well some doctors... I have seen this for myself. A friend of mine in Pennsylvania was injured and was prescribed pain killers. It was serious
enough that he did need them. However, the first script made him sick and constipated. He went back to return them as to not waste them. Which I thought was a gallant and appropriate way to handle a
narcontic medicine. The office nurse said in my presence and his, "Keep them, we will just have to throw them away, as we are not permitted by law to recirculate drugs once prescribed." He said but I
can't take them." She insisted, "Please just take them home, maybe someone else can use them." He was prescribed a 30 day lot of pills with a refill that he was trying to keep out of circulation and
return. Then a NEW script with a refill was given to him. The total of one office in Pennsylvania had given (to one individual) was 120 days of addictive painkillers.
Now we may think, Ok, so keep them for a rainy day, right? And we may also think, that was nice of the compassionate nurse. Well yes that waaas nice. Afterall these scripts without insurance
can be onsidered to some as very expensive or even unattainable. What we do not often realize is this, that these seemingly kind gestures are exaclty how people get addicted or how they get out onto
the black market. NOW, the nice and compassionate nurse has just sent $3600++ dollars worth of pills on the black market or put this person at risk of addiction. She is also preventing the doctor
from doing his due dlligence.
The way this is suppose to play out is: You get 30 days worth of pills. Go back to the doctor. He is SUPPPOSE to examine and talk to you throughly to attain that you are not getting addicted
before he refills that same product. Or he may want to change up to another brand.
These unused scripts sell for $10-$65 dollars a pill!
A second part of this story has a very, very, sad ending. A woman, a mother, and aunt was addicted terribly to alchol and pills. She would fool the system. She would get high on both for a month
or two. When she ran out, she simply called 911. They would arrive and she would go off in the ambulance to the hospital ER and complain of severe stomache pains. They would send her home with
an abundance of narcotic pain killers. On 3 to 6 month intervals, she would take the ambulance ride to the hosptal, as noted by her nephew and experienced by her son as he was present. Now here is
the absurd part. The hospital knew her by name. They would appratently welcome her by name and examine her, write the script and send her home. Her disability check would pay for the drugs. Hmmm....
This went on for 6 years apparently. No one commited her to rehab without her ability to sign herself out, as she would get violent and angry and sign herself in, immediately upon arrival. Sometimes
with a family member at the front desk and sometimes on her own. Well the rehabilitation facilties have laws to abide by an must comply to her wishes. (Which we can discuss another time, as that's a
story in itself.) She had them all scammed. Well here is another problem with the system. If you sign yourself, in you can leave anytime you want. When you are severely addicted there HAS TO BE
FIRM< FIRM< FIRM INTERNVENTION. They can not sign themsleves in, if they really want to get better...,
Well there is so much more to the story, but we will not go into that. But, as her condition and scam continued, it now appeared as though the stomache pains were real. Perhaps this was as a part
of a violent withdrawls that she was experiencing between hospital visits. Stomache pain, sweats, and vomiting combined is an idication. After a few years of withdrawl, cyles I would assume that it
would seem like she was having serious medical concerns.
Almost 6 years to the day, she died face down in a pillow from an alcohol and opioid overdose. Her son found her.
There are alot of moving parts within the system that must, must change.
If you think someone is addicted "Talk about it." "Be brave, don't think about it, say it, it could save a life." After all they won't be mad at you for long becuase deep down they wll realize
that you care about them. So... Talk.
Founder of GPO Foundation.org