The latest death of a movie star has stirred the medical world again. Who should be blamed for this actor’s death? The prescriber or the actor?
The medical and dental practitioners in the USA have a bad habit of prescribing narcotics to their patients for simple pain. When I had pelvic fractures in 2004 due to an MVA, the medical intern was literally forcing me to take his prescription of Vicodin, I said, tylenol is fine for me. He said, “you are the only one refusing narcotics.” I prescribe myself, so I know the dangers of narcotics.
When my hubby had a tooth extraction last week, the dentist ordered Vicodin . He went to an MD for some rotator cuff injury in the same week and the doctor also prescribed a narcotic Tylenol # 3 (with codeine). If I did not know any better, my hubby could have ended up a drug addict because both medications are hightly addictive. If I were a layperson, my hubby could have taken both medications for different types of pain and can end up easily six feet below the ground.
When my hubby and I went for a cruise in 2006, I heard two prominent doctors talking about how difficult it is to practice in the USA. Both are pain management specialists and they both agreed that it is like “pushing drugs” to patients who complain of pain. The patients themselves are also asking for narcotics even before trying a lesser kind of analgesics. The big problem is that, most people in the USA can not and will not tolerate pain. They would like to treat pain before it occurs. Their tolerance to pain is zero.
My 55-year old patient recently just died. I educated him about the dangers of polypharmacy. He was on methadone, Roxanol, ativan, MSContin and numerous medications for his co-morbidities. Guess how he died? Your guess is as good as mine.