Fentanyl death is not an overdose. It’s murder
by Definitely Steve
Opening my own dental practice in 1969, was the proudest day of my life. However, it didn’t take long for a pack of enthusiastic dental salesmen to descend on my office. “Try this new piece of equipment”. “Did you hear about our new dental filling material?” It took a while but eventually I recognized their true intention. They were there pushing the latest and greatest “pain pills”. It was all perfectly legal and most important, THEY WERE ALL COVERED BY INSURANCE! Patients paid the same deductible whether we prescribed them 5 or 50 pills.
- Doing a complex root canal? Why don’t you try Darvon or Darvoset, with its built in sedative, just in case you might need a little help sleeping.
- Doing an extraction? How about Percocet?
- After some painful gum surgery, your patients would definitely need tylenol #3 with its ever present codeine.
“In fact why don’t I give you some free “samples” or, to make it a lot more “convenient”, our pre-filled-out, prescription pads?”
Just add the patient’s name, the number of pain pills, sign it and off they go. They’ll feel better and appreciate your help. Besides, our brand is the best on the market. Isn’t it great that they won’t bother you in the middle of the night anymore? (unless of course they run out of pills)
It’s hard to believe that 50 years later, we are now left with a legacy of addiction, overdoses and death. Unfortunately, it got a lot worse before we, as a profession, realized how bad it really was. Our role in this deadly epidemic was now obvious for everyone to see. Thankfully, i saw right thru this charade and would not take part in it.
I started to realize what was going on, when I found myself having to hide my prescription pads. In the pre-computer era, it reached a point where patients and sometimes even staff, either stole them, or altered the number of pills I had prescribed. “Doctor-shopping”, became the new national pastime.
It wasn’t only the down-and-out, heroine addict living under a bridge. Addicts and full blown alcoholics now included the wealthy, educated house wife, who instead of helping her kids with their math homework, was planning where to get her next stash of those “happy little pills”.
It could include your lawyer, your doctor, your kid’s teacher, or even your minister. No one is immune from addiction to these legal, easily attainable drugs. Oxycodone and Fentanyl made a terrible situation much more deadly.
Btw: Dying from unwittingly getting a tiny amount of a Fentanyl-laced sleeping pill, is not considered an overdose anymore.. IT iS MURDER.
- Last year more people died from overdoses than everyone we lost in the entire Vietnam War.
- 53 thousand died from drug overdoses alone.
- Nationally, 34,000 committed suicide. (2 each and every day in Nashville)
- Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of death in people under the age of 50.
- And that’s not a misprint. It’s more than car crashes or cancer.
- Drug visits in our ER’s were up 45%.
- 911 here receives 20 overdose calls PER DAY…
And now, perhaps the worse: 1/3 of all seniors (medicare, retired vets etc) 12 million of them, have been prescribed “pain pills”. They can’t live a day or a nigt, without those enticing little pills. Drug dependence rather than seeking a medical cure, they gladly took these pills for their headaches, bad backs, getting to sleep, or just to make them feel a bit better. In many cases, your parent’s or grandparent’s pill-laced. nightly cocktail has resulted in a full-blown, addicted, geriatric generation.
There is certainly enough fault to go around. No one forces anyone to be a drug addict or an alcoholic. But at last, the final chapter in this trail of horrors is about to come to an end. Tennessee’s Attorney General has reached a major settlement with McKinsey and Company, involving their role in promoting the opioid epidemic. They admitted that they helped companies promote their drugs to doctors around the country. Greed and obscene profits were the driving force. Tennessee will receive $23 million dollars to be used exclusively to fight addiction.
The $573 million dollar overall settlement was in part, over its ties to the disgraced OxyCotin maker, Perdue Pharma , and their role in the epidemic of addiction, incarceration, & death. The settlement details McKinsey’s decade old scheme of marketing promotions and consulting services for the opiod manufacturers.
Addiction comes in many forms, effecting every family, every socio-economic group, every stratum of society. It may be impossible to prevent addicts and alcoholics from continuing their self-destructive behavior and seek help themselves. But at least for now, removing the role that drug companies played, acting through their doctor agents, will make it just a little bit harder.
Untreated alcoholism or drug addiction inevitably results in:
- incarceration or unfortunately
And now, Tennessee’s State Legislature, mesmerized by a sales-tax bonanza, wants to legalize pot. I beg you. Speak to any of us involved in alcohol or drug treatment and we will tell you that marijuana was the introduction to a life of addiction. Sure their is a need for medical marajuana. An exception can made for those who really need the pain relief. But they are the exception and could be easily controlled by allowing them by prescription only.
There is hope. If you or a love one has a problem with drugs or alcohol, take the first step. Call Nashville’s hotline ( AA, NA, Alanon or Cumberland Heights Rehab.,) or any of your own local groups. We have a nonjudgmental, loving seat waiting for you. Your anonymity will always be protected. No last names please. All of us are long-time, recovering alcoholics and know exactly how you feel. Help is available for anyone who wants it. We are also here for the many more who really need it.