Well, Dr. Salwitz and Sunrise Rounds dropped a bomb on me today! I spend so much time trying to be polite. And being urged by others to be more polite instead of forthright, that I dial it down sometimes when I should shout it out. I'm always grateful and impressed with his courage when he write to get our attention. (As I usually want to get yours.)
Today, his headline "Doctors: Say No to Drugs!" got my attention instantly. Except I thought he was going to talk about doctors using drugs. I
He opens with a slammer: The United States of America is addicted to narcotics.
I'm wanted to get your attention by saying he meant: the doctor as pusher. Our pusher.
But I think what he really says is: We are drowning in excess drugs and only the doctors can control the floodgates.
He talks about cancer patients, and how few drugs are necessary for cancer pain.
He talks about the rest of us.
We blame the parents when a kid goes shopping in the medicine chest, shares with his pals, and they all end up in the hospital - if they're lucky. But how did the parent get that pretty assortment?
We blame patients who raise a fuss until they (we) get the one we want, or get whatever pill to deal with our discomfort, or behavior, or awakeness. And did I forget to mention the shots for losing weight?
In my closet is a vial of yellow pills I will never take. Were they sent home from that first ER and admit after the pain kept me from walking? No, I think I had a prescription - but did my own doctor write it, did the spine surgeon write it, did some hospital doc write it? It was too strong, dangerously strong for me. But I digress.
He mentions pharma manufacturers who make billions, but continue to rave about new drugs that are not proven, and probably dangerous.
He mentions some narcotics by name, and I recognize the names of ones that people do swap, thinking they are helping that friend with the cast or the broken rib, or the broken heart. My mom had some with her in that other century, when my wedding was hours late starting.
He is tough tough on doctors here. I wish you would read some of it. I wish we all would not beg for something dangerous. I salute you who have flushed some.
Be well. And love conscientious doctors.