Prescription Drugs: Prescribed addiction?

Prescription Drugs:
Prescribed addiction?

You can’t get away from them. Prescription drugs are all over the television, every channel is filled with ads for pills; pills that will make our lives better. There are pills for allergies, pills for heart problems, pills for sexual problems, pills for blood disorders and pills for depression.

You need these pills to be healthy and happy. Madison Avenue and the pharmaceutical industry have collaborated to create the great American need for pills.

Treatment is the answer!

For those who are struggling with prescription drug addiction finding a good addiction treatment facility is critical. It is usually best to get a referral and to find a treatment center in the location that works well for the addict.

Atlanta alcohol rehab

Atlanta drug abuse rehab centers are a great location to find help because it’s a large city with a lot of other resources you may need. It is also centrally located and very easily accessible for many people.

Atlanta alcohol rehab can bring the right approach needed to help overcome alcoholism and to move toward a life without the problems caused by its use.

Are doctors causing the problem?

I do not intend to thrash away on the legitimate medical use of pills. Not at all, but the truly marvelous advances in medicine have taken a back seat to the lure of enormous profits. The drug companies visit clinics and hospitals, selling their product to doctors. Use our drugs, not their drugs is the message. There may or may not be financial incentive for the doctor, depending on the ethics of the individual. But ethics is at the heart of the issue.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran a front page article by Gina Barton on February 24, entitled “Lethal drugs, lethal access” that told the story of the unexpected consequences of prescription medicine. Barton told the story of Daryl Collie, who overdosed on a combination of painkillers oxycodone and diazepam.

Collie’s father, Alfred, trusted the care of the physician. He did not know what was going on. His son got drugs from his primary care physician, who would later go to prison for selling prescriptions. He had another doctor writing scripts, and that doctor would run afoul with the law for writing “huge amounts of prescriptions for addictive pain killers.” Daryl also got drugs from a third doctor, who had been investigated for the same issue. The story talked about sanctions against the three doctors by the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board.

How did Collie get three different doctors to write prescriptions?

The article focused on doctors who overstepped the bounds of accepted medical practice. Even if there were no ethical issues on the part of the doctors, there was still no way to prevent the problem from occurring.

Once a person becomes addicted, they need to become cleaver to make sure there is a constant source of their drug(s) of choice. Emergency departments all over the country face drug-seeking patients every day.

They come in for treatment.

They demand treatment.

They sue if they don’t get treatment.

The law protects their right to abuse the system.

What if a triage nurse in a hospital could access a data base and see that the patient has been given prescriptions for X, Y and Z? What if a primary care physician could go online and see that their new patient has received these prescriptions from other physicians?

There needs to be a balance

There has to be a balance between patient need and patient demand. A patient may need more drug to manage pain over time, but will not be addicted. The patient’s condition needs to be monitored and medical decisions need to be based on that information.

But if a patient is seeing several physicians who do not know about each other, and receives prescriptions that lead to an overdose, the arbiter of this scenario is probably going to be a district attorney.

A national database could help

A national database on prescriptions will be the first tool in instituting tighter regulations on the distribution of legal drugs. You can argue the right to privacy of medical records, but I would submit that when a patient seeks additional prescriptions which are in direct conflict with accepted medical practice, to use the drugs for other than their intended purpose, or to in any way involve a third party in an unethical or illegal act (i.e. the pharmacist) that is cause for a more public reaction.

Regardless of the circumstances of their addiction, the patient is not in a position to make an ethical or moral decision. In the vast majority of cases, physicians are the ones who should have the say on what is prescribed, but have access to complete and reliable information, not just the word of the patient.

Those few physicians who violate the trust we place in them and cross over the line, do not deserve to practice medicine and the medical community needs to deal with that. Otherwise we will have lawyers practicing medicine.

Pharmaceutical companies need to be part of solution

Drug abuse is abundant in our country. If nothing else, just take the ads of TV. Pharmaceutical companies do great good in developing medicines to fight against so many diseases. That is to be respected, but when the fight for the good of mankind becomes more business than science, the ethical and moral issues pollute the cause.