IC Journey

What About All the Ones Who AREN’T Famous

Posted in Uncategorized by LJ Johnson on April 8, 2010

I’m still mad. Some things just get in under my skin and it seems almost impossible for me to let go of them really quickly. Prescription drug abuse is one of them.

See, I live on prescription pain medications. In fact, I take oxycodone and soma daily. However, I am not fortunate enough to take enough to get any “fun” out of them, and frequently don’t even take enough to actually reduce all of my pain. This morning, in fact, when I laid back down the pain haunted my dreams (and for some reason in my dreams I act a lot worse about experiencing it than I do in my real life – is it my own subconsciousness’ wishful thinking?).

What the general public doesn’t know, unless they’ve had the rare occasion to require a refill of percocet, a commonly prescribed medication that includes oxycodone, is that the schedule that oxycodone, oxycontin, etc., are on requires that ONLY a hand-written doctor’s prescription be filled. The doctor cannot “call in” an oxycodone prescription, neither can an oxycodone prescription be written with refills. So, if you are a chronic pain patient, you must see your doctor at least once a month if you are on stronger pain medications. If you have a chronic condition like interstitial cystitis (which can cause pain comparable to end-stage cancer), frequently you can do like I do, and call your doctor and ask them to write your prescription and go and pick it up.

Another thing is that a RESPONSIBLE pain patient will only see ONE doctor and ONE pharmacy. That way your usage is monitored (not to mention possible harmful or lethal drug interactions). What Corey Haim was doing, and what the much-publicized prescription drug abusers do is ILLEGAL, and usually won’t be accommodated by most physicians. They use multiple pharmacies and multiple doctors (how they keep it straight must be another exercise entirely?) to be able to get two and three times what any rational doctor would prescribe.

Here is why it makes me angry. My doctor and I already jump through hoops to demonstrate and ensure that there is no possibility of diversion, including the fact that my doctor, unlike others, will not even mail a prescription for oxycodone. Instead, you must go to his office and pick it up and sign for its receipt. That way he can demonstrate that no diversion has occurred and point to who had custody of the prescription when it left his office. The FDA regularly considers which drugs it should maybe remove because they are at higher risk for diversion. What is sad about that is that those who are on fixed incomes or disabled may not be able to afford the newer, tamper-proof drugs, and if they were to lose access to drugs which have long since been generic they might not have any affordable pain management alternatives.

All these people who are taking prescription medications and using them for their own amusement and to get high are, with their behavior, making it increasingly likely that people who struggle with pain every day will be left suffering and with a much lower quality of life, and the people responsible are doing it to escape from a life that any pain patient would probably love to have – one that is, for the most part… normal.


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