Thursday, October 7, 2010

Addiction and abuse

I decided to take a break from my state of the profession series for today's post. In our profession we (unfortunately) see people who are addicted to drugs on a daily, if not hourly basis.

Some of the people are hooked on substances that are illegal, but even more are addicted to substances that are legal. What once was a means of treating an organic illness or injury has transformed itself into an addiction.

It's easy to look down our noses at these people. We may think that they lack self-control and have allowed themselves to become addicts. For others, they may not be addicted. They just like the buzz they catch from abusing the medications.

Whatever the reason, the sad truth is that there are many people trying to escape issues in their lives and do so through the use of drugs.

There's a billboard along the interstate near the town that I live in. I've seen it hundreds of times and pretty much ignored it. Then one day after driving home, I pulled up the website that was on the bottom of the billboard.

I read the story. It's about a kid that was one of my patients right after I became a pharmacist. I know the family. Grandma, grandpa, and mom all came to my pharmacy. They are good people. Unfortunately, Zach is just another young life lost due to the misuse of drugs.


C said...

Thank you for talking about this.

I took my first narcotic pain medication after surgery. I sincerely wish I had never picked up that perscription.

I've been clean for 4.5 years now and it's not as big of a struggle as it was but those feelings still creep in sometimes.

I'm just your every day wife, mom, daughter, etc but I'm the only wife and mom my husband and kids have and I want to be here for all of it.

Let's keep talking. If we can only reach one person that will be enough for me-at least to start with.

Anonymous said...

Hi Eric-I enjoy reading your blog very much. I'm sorry that this is the first time I've commented.

I have worked in the medical field for over 10 years. With this topic, one patient came to mind. She would get 240 cc's Tussionex filled and every 3 or 4 days she would call in saying she "spilled" it. This went on for over a year. Even when the pharmacy would call saying she had filled at another pharmacy across town the MD would always approve it. I'm not sure what happened with that patient, since I was only "floated" to this office for 3months.

In the same office was a 90 year old dying of thyroid CA and didnt want to take her Percocet because it made her "feel funny." She only took the pain meds for 2 days before she died.

Anyway, thank you again for your blog. I enjoy reading it.

Anonymous said...

Addiction is a mental illness.

Mental illness can be treated and the disease controlled just like any other disease e.g. hypertension, diabetes, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, rickets, pheochromocytoma, etc..

Let's keep talking about mental illness and removing the stigma of the chronic condition, diagnosis, and treatment.

Thanks for bringing up the topic. Seeing and hearing of illness and pain of others is not pleasant.