Doctors treat pain pills like candy, and it's terrifying.
It has become increasingly more common for doctors to overprescribe medication instead of offering up alternatives to patients. It becomes more about turnaround time to push patients through the doors, so they are more than happy to send out pill orders over deciding what is best for the patient.
The practice has become so common that for those born in the late '80s to early '90s, they have been given the nickname Generation Rx because the most
abundant misused drugs among the age group are prescription narcotics.
Scenarios like stealing from your mother's medicine cabinet to faking an attention
disorder are a few gateways into becoming hooked on and having a steady flow of prescribed medication. Things like painkillers can be a slippery slope because your body can build a tolerance to its effects, thus increasing the need for more, and then comes the line you cross when it's no longer about the pain but about the fix. Popping pain pills becomes part of your schedule to get through the day. Doctors help push people to these outcomes in such careless ways.
Doctors swear by the Hippocratic oath to first do no harm and yet their careless nature in which they dole out medication causes harm. I have experienced this first hand, and it terrified me. After my stint in the hospital after my car wreck and surgery, I finally got to go home. My care package was a package of baby wipes, my medical paperwork, and 75 tablets of Percocet. That was more than I could have possibly ever needed because, by the time I left the hospital, I was barely in any pain. I was set. Not even two weeks later, I have a follow up with my
surgeon, so he can check up on how I'm healing. During the visit, he asks if I need any more pain killers.
You've got to be kidding me, in the ten days since I'd been released I probably took three pills max. I was quite alright, so of course, I declined. I specifically even told him I doubt I would finish the script I had because I was feeling good. The checkup moves along, and he's pleased with my progress. We talk about the next steps and any future potential of removing the hardware from my knees and ankles, and then before I know it, I am on my way. I stop at the front
desk to check out and pick up some forms and wouldn't you know it, that a new prescription for 40 additional Percocet had been ordered in my name. I take the paper, and I leave, at first, I think nothing of it and think I'll throw the paper in a drawer somewhere, If I don't pick up the prescription its no harm no foul, right?
I filed the prescription away, but the more I thought about it, the more upset I
became because I pictured what could have happened had I brought those pills home. I was already in a fragile state with my mental health, and the doctors wanted to give me 115 tablets for eight weeks of recovery. It's repulsive. I thought about how my current prescription at the time had to have been listed in my chart somewhere. There is no way he couldn't have known about the first 75.
Furthermore, if a patient runs through 75 Percocet in ten days to be needing a refill, a refill is probably the last thing you should give them. Then the
cherry on top of the whole thing is that I flat out said I didn't need any more pain pills, and yet I was disregarded. It leaves me wondering why. Why the push toward narcotics?
Does the manufacturer get you a bonus for all the Percocet you push on to patients? Why be so careless?
It could have been effortless for me to grow dependent on these drugs. It was my own choice to turn away from that. I think I am a better person for it. I would never forgive myself if, in my emotional state, I put my health in danger.
So I ask that all of you reading take an inventory of appropriate response in your life. A migraine doesn't need a prescription dosed pain killer to cure it. Stay vigilant in how you treat your body. Don't become another statistic in the Rx
generation. And sometimes, when necessary, allow yourself to feel pain; it is how you know you are still human.
Until next time readers…
- Bianca A.