If someone prescribes an opiate when you have explicitly asked for it not to be prescribed, or a medical professional just hands you the scrip without asking if you are in recovery or suffer from addiction, don’t ignore it. Say something.
Ask the nurse, PA, or doctor, “You know those are highly addictive and we are in a crisis in this country. Don’t you think it’s a good idea to ask people if they are in recovery or suffer from addiction?”
You can ask it politely. But don’t let it go.
If more of us asked, more doctors who still overprescribe would think about the practice. And many are still handing over thirty day supplies for simple injuries.
So many of us have lost a loved one as the result of addiction. In my case, my son killed himself while going through withdrawal. His first opiate? In the hospital after he cracked his skull. In some people it flips a switch in their heads. It would be many years later that he’d become physically addicted but I do believe he felt nirvana after that first dose and never forgot it.
I’m also very suspicious that my friend, Chris Baker, who recently died from overdose, was prescribed or given opiates after sinus surgery. He said he didn’t have any but he died so soon after the procedure, it can’t be a coincidence. This is so common and no one is held accountable so it’s up to us until they are.
The medical establishment doesn’t always know things like Tylenol 3 has an opiate (codeine). Many prescription cough medicines do, too. And other medications like Xanax are also highly addictive. So ask those questions and educate yourself because not all medical professionals are.
If your child is due for surgery, has a cold, please ask. For wisdom teeth removal you don’t need narcotics. Younger kids have a higher probability of becoming addicted than an adult and giving them opiates is like Russian Roulette. We don’t know who has that switch in their brain that turns on substance use disorder.
So if your doctor asks you, “Do you want pain meds?” If they prescribe an opiate and don’t ask whether you suffer from addiction, ask them point blank why they didn’t ask.