Oh goody, something else to label as addictive and dangerous. Because we were running low on things to clutch our pearls about.

Lots of profanity, so be warned. Not all of my posts will have it, not making excuses for it, don’t need to be lectured on how it’s not necessary, and if it really twists your panties in a knot, then you might want to just stick to my Facebook page. I love all ya’ll no matter what, and I’m trying to be considerate, but this is one place I refuse to filter myself unless absolutely necessary.

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Man, oh, man, I was all set to do a fun, “Feline Friday” post where I introduce the Meowers of Death. But then I saw someone link to this article and now my blood is boiling. So gotta shift gears and get this out of my head.

Gabapentin, or ‘Johnnys,’ prescription drug being abused, report says

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Whatever these people are taking, it’s not Gabapentin. I take Gabapentin for fibromyalgia. I don’t experience any kind of side effects other than joint pain decreasing to tolerable levels and my brain fog going away (both of which I had long before taking it). It’s like those were symptoms of fibromyalgia and I was prescribed to take it to RELIEVE those symptoms or something, right?

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It works SO well and so under the radar that sometimes I forget to fill my prescription and think “oh it’s not doing anything, I can go without a few days.” And boy, is that a mistake. No, I do not end up having withdrawals. I end up having to wear a TENS unit all day for 2-3 days turned up to the max, carry my massager room to room in the house with me, keep a constant rotation of ibuprofin, can barely think straight, and feel like my head is full of cotton until I get back on my routine of taking it. I take the smallest dose (300mg) 3 times a day.

I think the majority of medications these days have a “may cause drowsiness” warning on them, so let’s just classify all medications as addictive and scheduled drugs. Say bye-bye to those over the counter sleep medications. You know, because they cause sedation; nevermind that is the intended use for them. Benadryl? Nope, gotta go. This one makes me feel “high” and sleepier than a lot of other things, so it’s definitely in this category. Just about any daily allergy med has to be tossed in there, along with cold medicines, and anti-nausea medications like phenergan. Melatonin will become a dirty word. Even herbal supplements won’t be safe. You’ll have to sell chamomile tea on the black market because you can’t get it anywhere else.

And those sleep medications you’re given when nothing else will work? Ambien, Belsomra, Lunestra, and so on? Well, kiss those goodbye honey, and be prepared to go on a rampage because you don’t get any sleep for a few weeks. But hey, at least they’ll have another check they can make on their “winning the drug war” chart and something else the politicians can parade out for a sound byte or favorable press release.

I guess we’ll be going back to the 1800s or end up using only castor oil and apple cider vinegar to treat every ailment. Next thing you know we’ll be back to drilling holes in the heads of people to get those evil spirits out. Better brush up on those old wives’ tales, because you’ll be lucky if you have the option of aspirin if this keeps on.

fd72a5b274146468a01a19531a5d17feThe only difference will be the click-bait painted on the side,
“You’ll be shocked at this simple cure to all ailments!”

I don’t know what the answer is. I do know it’s frustrating to struggle for 5 years with something no doctor can seem to diagnose or treat that was destroying my life…then, when a doctor finally finds something to try that gives you your life back, all of a sudden someone comes through with this kind of study to cause a panic and completely shit on your parade that finally had a few cool floats added to it.

I hate taking medication. I fought taking the stuff I have to take now for years because I didn’t want to just throw pills at the problem if there were other ways to fix it. But it reached a point that I needed to live my life or just spend the rest of it on the couch in pain. And I’m not just using medication to manage FADI. I also utilize counseling/therapy, meditation, and massage therapy to minimize the need for medications and maybe one day drop a few of them.

Now, if all this fear over Gabapentin goes the way I think it will, I will have 2 different medications I have to jump through hoops for that keep me working and being able to live a normal life every single day, NEITHER of which is an opioid.

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Why should I feel like a criminal where I think I need to ration my fucking medication so I don’t raise any weird flags when I refill it, even if it is ON time and I’ve just finished my monthly (yes, monthly) doctor’s visit I have to make in order to be able to get the prescription refilled for 30 days? When I am using it at one of the lowest doses possible for it’s INTENDED purpose?

Adderall is the other medication I’m referring to here. Again, low dose, twice a day. Has been life-changing for me. But I am more nervous to tell people I am taking Adderall than I am admitting that I have 11 CATS. Why?

Because of articles like this. Because our politicians and media wants to blame a drug instead of the people who abuse it. Because this kind of attitude causes those in a society who loves to stereotype and label people based on one aspect of their lives to add another judgmental feather to their lecture hat and decide that you must be one of those addicts simply because you take a medication that “may” be or has a high risk of dependency at a certain dosage or depending on the person taking it.

Because that’s exactly what this kind of shit ends up doing. Putting an addict sign on someone who’s not a fucking addict, but the world automatically assumes is one because they take a certain kind of medication.

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There is nothing wrong with having a doctor closely monitor your medications and how you are using them. There is nothing wrong with basic regulations to try to limit abuse of medications. And most importantly, I’m NOT saying there isn’t a problem with prescription drug abuse. But patting ourselves on the back by making it almost impossible for anyone to get certain medications (including the people who actually use them properly) is not going to win any drug war or solve drug addiction.

Those addicts are just going to shift to something else, and we are already seeing that happen.

An EMT’s view from the front lines of America’s heroin crisis

Seven Days of Heroin: What an epidemic looks like

‘This is unprecedented’: 174 heroin overdoses in 6 days in Cincinnati

Guess what the drug of choice is for people who can’t get their prescription
pill fix? HEROIN. Granted, it is increasingly being mixed with Fentanyl, which is an opioid, but heroin was still what got the ball rolling. So your war on opioids has cured how many addicts exactly and/or kept them from misusing drugs? I bet that number is lower than the media and politicians want us to believe.

Because addicts will get their fix wherever they can because no one is getting to the core issue: these people do drugs to feel good and to detach from reality. Life is either unbearable or too hard or whatever and they can’t handle it without a crutch to help them survive. If you take away their crutch, they are going to find another one because they can’t handle life without it. All you’ve done is just make it harder on the people who needed it in the first place.

giphy (9)Pretty much the American way of solving our problems these days.

Like everything else in this country, people seem to think there is an easy fix for this complex problem. You can’t force people to stop doing something just by making it illegal. It’s obvious that is not working. You have to educate doctors on trying different methods to treat patients. Require patients to try different pain management techniques before medication (that of course need to be covered by insurance). Maybe require anyone who is on a classified addictive drug long term to attend therapy in order to continue using it. Focus more on figuring out WHY these people are addicted to something and help them solve those issues instead of just trying to convince yourself that making just about every drug illegal or difficult to obtain will cure this addiction problem.

The saddest part about prescription drug addiction is that I guarantee most of the people who wind up taking them to begin with did because they didn’t have any other options and it was unmanageable on it’s own. When you have healthcare where a prescription for Vicodin is cheaper than any other type of pain management or therapy and is the only thing covered by insurance, then I wonder what most are going to end up choosing?

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