This is a series on addiction that I have been doing now for some time. If you have missed any of the previous posts, please find them here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII.
Doctors. Many of us believe that doctors know 100% of what they are doing. I do, most of the time. When I realized that I was an addicted, I looked back over my life and say those who have been enablers and one of they was my doctor.
I am not blaming my doctor at all but over the years of being tossed meds at, start to wonder why. Knowing that I confused doctors so much at times, that they didn’t know what else to do with me. I was and still am not a cut and dry case. I have been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis but I am not a drinker, it doesn’t always show up on tests, and I don’t always have the exact symptoms. The doctors finally realized that my grandmother had the same disease and the same symptoms. they diagnosed me with Pancreatitis.
Drugs and More Drugs
Was it the right thing to do? It was the most logical but doesn’t mean that its right. After my diagnosis, my GI doctor would write me prescription after prescription of Vicodin or Percocet and that was it. I would want answers and all I would get is another round of drugs. By then, I didn’t mind at all. I was freshly in my addiction and wanted all the drugs I could get my hands on. It didn’t matter to me the reason, as long as they were willing to write out the prescription, I would keep filling.
Doctors have a very difficult job when it comes to patients and that fine line of prescribing drugs. I am sure that many a time, that invisible line has been crossed. But being a human being, how can someone sit there and in good consciousness, watch someone suffer when they have the ability to help that person out. But can it go too far? Can a doctor write for to many pills? I know that I’ve been written a large number of pills and without hesitation, took them all.
When Is It Too Much?
Is this an epidemic of doctors over-prescribing medication and then becoming an enabler. What happens then if the doctor decides to no longer write that prescription? The patient is left, addicted to that medication, and without a doctor to help in the treatment. I’ve been there before. I have had doctors prescribe and prescribe and then one day just stop. The patient must quickly find a doctor that will either ween them off the medication or continue prescribing the same medication.
It Was A Good Run!
I have had doctors tell me to my face that they will no longer be filling my prescriptions and a few months later, I am back right where I started, getting pills from my doctors. I never knew what or how each relationship would go, but in the end, I always felt like the last. And I ended up right where I was before. Without a doctor and without pills.
I do believe that there needs to be more communication between doctors and patients. But if the patient is at all like me, we hide things well. Even though we are telling the doctor that we are fine, behind closed doors is another story. Doctors need to know that after months and months on a certain pill, addiction, no matter who the person is, is something that needs to be talked about. Your body no matter what gets used to the medicine and will continue expecting it even after you have stopped taking it.
Helping The Doctors
What else can be done to help control the addiction from the doctors? Doctors need to be able to fulfill their side of the agreement when it comes to pain pills. They can’t expect a patient to be on these drugs for so long and that when they automatically stop giving it to you, you will be ok. Doctors can’t just all of a sudden start denying you. I believe that doctors, anyone that prescribes narcotics needs to be more educated in the reaction of an extensive amount of pain medications and then just stopping it. Doctors need to be taught how to handle withdrawals and everything else that comes with stopping a medication like that.
And just because you have been on narcotics for a while, does not make you an addicted. It’s what you do after you stop taking the meds that will be the defining moment. Will you become an addict or are you able to stop using the medicine? Whether or not you are an addict or not, there still should be some help from the doctors. They need to be held responsible for the writing of the prescriptions.And allowing you to have taken so much.
That’s How Many Pills?
When I was in the throes of my addiction, my doctor was writing out a prescription for 230 pills to last me a month. That comes down to 8 pills a day, 2 pills every 4 hours. Even if I was an addict, taking those much narcotics is bound to leave its mark on me. That is a lot of pills for anyone. But imagine taking that amount in 3 months, that is 690 pills in 3 months. Looking at it that way, that’s a lot of pills. Anyone is bound to become addicted to the meds one way or another.
I believe that doctors need to better informed and educated about narcotics and the long-term use of using 690 pills for 3 months. The body will naturally become addicted, it’s whether or not your mind can overcome being addicted that will tell you where you stand. The body will be used to having that many pills in its system and will go through withdrawals. So be honest with your doctor coming off the narcotics. Asking for help is the best thing you can do. Let your doctor know about your fears and what you need help with. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, after all, isn’t that what life is all about?