Drugs in need are drugs indeed!

Give me my pills…..! How often did we hear this in our pharmacies? Most of the responses were: “we don’t have this in stock”! A dark chapter of greed, abuse and insanity- Opioid overdose/ drug diversion!

A true story…..

Courtesy: http://www.CDC.gov

Katie grew up with a mother, June, who struggled for years with addiction. She never knew when she would see her mom again, or in what condition she would be. June began using drugs and alcohol recreationally at the age of 14, and as she grew older, it developed into opioid use disorder.

June made a few attempts at voluntary treatment, but she would just walk right out. Later, when she was arrested, she was given the choice of going to jail or going into treatment—thankfully, she chose treatment. June finally was able to work with counselors to help her on her journey to recovery.

Katie didn’t understand what her mother was going through when she was young, and she carried a lot of resentment towards her. It was hard to separate her mother from her addiction, and from who her addiction made her into. She was able to learn that substance use disorder is a disease. It wasn’t her mother’s personality or who she was as a human being – it was just the chemical that made her body feel like she needed the drugs. Now, Katie feels that it is important to share her perspective of loving someone with opioid use disorder.

Read more at…….

https://www.cdc.gov/rxawareness/stories/katie.html

A decade ago: As I walked into my pharmacy at 8 am, I used to see a mob of people waiting for me. Some of them with walking canes and others with no walking canes. As soon as they saw me, “hi doctor”, “good morning doctor”, “how are you”! The common thing about these people in the mob was that they all had the same prescriptions to be filled. They all had: one prescription for oxycodone, one for Soma, one for Xanax and guess what….one more for Ibuprofen…..lol!

Another thing that was common was the fact that they all came from the same or similar clinic from 60 miles away from my pharmacy. The last common thing was the same diagnosis of pain, already written on the prescription: Lumbar radiculopathy or herniated disc!

Such was the scenario those days. Unfortunately, this was growing into an epidemic! It all started with “pill mills” or pain clinics getting greedy and offering to write serious narcotic drugs to anybody who wants to make money off drug diversion. These doctors would have fake x-rays, MRIs to prove the pain diagnosis (remember….herniated disc…..lol). These so-called patients would then bombard all pharmacies to get these prescriptions filled.

The strange thing was once a pharmacist filled one patient’s prescription, there would a set of patients walking in right after the first left. Same prescriptions, same prescription pads and of course……same diagnosis; I hope you remember by now! Sometimes, the entire household had the same prescriptions……that’s freak’in hilarious! How could all members of the same family have “herniated discs”……😂

There were a lot of creative ways of how to inject Oxycodone into the body! And interestingly, there is a vocabulary too for these drugs. Here are some of them:

Hillybilly heroin- Oxycodone

Ecstasy- MDMA

Bar- Xanax

Courtesy: https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/opioid-case_drug-addicts-entitled-to-disability-insurance–says-court/45141752

Sad thing to this was that genuine patients were denied access to pain medications. A lot of patients suffer from excruciating pain from cancers, surgeries, accidents, etc. But because of this whole species of “drug traffickers” and “pill- mills”, the true patients still suffer a lot.

Dear audience, I juts want to pull your attentions towards opioid epidemic. Today, in America, there are thousands of deaths related to opioid toxicity due to overdose. Not only deaths occur, but millions of lives are also ruined. Imagine, these dangerous drugs falling into hands of our own kids. It not only destroys the individual but also drowns the entire family. The careers are doomed, the reputations are damaged and all that’s left is sadness, tragedy and hopelessness.

Courtesy: http://www.CDC.gov

Thanks to the efforts of DEA and other organizations to combat this serious issue of opioid epidemic! Today, there are a lot of check points and measures to be exercised by Practioners and pharmacists before dispensing any narcotic. Rigid requirements of IDs, validation of a controlled substance prescription, vigilance about patient’s prescriptions history from eForce and exercising professional judgment- are all legal and ethical requirements that are implemented by health care team.

Remember to use drugs to cure medical conditions only and not abuse them because after all- “Drugs in need are drugs indeed”!

2 cents from Tom Hanks!

“I was heavy. You have seen me in movies, you know what I looked like. I was a total idiot”: Tom Hanks

By Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

I have been wondering what should I do for my first ever blog. While I was so excited to present to the world my first blog, I was equally worried too. The first impression matters, right! After a lot of due diligence and research, I came across this article about none other than my favorite superstar actor, Tom Hanks.

Cast Away just blew my mind. The actor who has always displayed so much versatility  from “Apollo 13” to “Catch Me If You Can” to “Terminal” and what a cast in “Cast Away” is a perfectionist according to me and a lot of his fans. So, for him to admit that he was an idiot is bound to have a lot of weightage. Why is he saying so? 

Tom Hanks was diagnosed Diabetes Mellitus type 2 in 2013. He mentioned to the media that he is responsible for acquiring diabetes. He blamed his diet and inability to control weight. He thought avoiding buns from harburgers would be enough but later he realized that it would take a bit more to control his diabetes.  

So, what I am trying to come up to is: If Tom Hanks admitted openly to the world that he is responsible to get diabetes, why can’t we do the same? The first step towards progress in life is owning the responsibility. You can’t blame others for acquiring DIabetes type 2. Once you recognize the mistakes and careless attitude towards life, there occurs the birth of realization. The famous quote “God helps those who help themselves” is applicable in our lives very much. 

I mean let’s be honest. We all take our health for granted. Don’t we fall for that dessert, don’t we get enticed with that big barbeque party, don’t we chug in a few bottles of beer here and there, how irregular are our meal times often? Most importantly, don’t we place our jobs on top of our health. What’s the number 1 killer, guys? Any guesses…………STRESS, it is! A lot of these things can be controlled, some are just out of our control these days. What an irony! The more we have these days, the more diseases we have acquired. Back in the good old days, there was less money, less resources, less access to modern devices and guess what, LESS STRESS and HEALTHIER LIVES prevailed. 

There is so much advanced medical care these days and so much emphasis on prevention of diseases but still, we are on the rise of getting less healthier day by day. Can we do anything in such circumstances? If so, what and how? 

1)The first step is KNOWLEDGE of the disease and ways to control, if too late to prevent it: The prerequisite to this step is admission that only you are responsible and no one else for your diabetes-just like Tom Hanks did. 

Consult your doctor and your pharmacist to get all the information needed about diabetes and its treatment. Know your medicines, how to take them, any precaution while taking the medicine, side effects, drug-drug or drug-food interactions, etc 

Glucocious app can come handy for people diagnosed with diabetes and for caregivers too. Download it from your app store or google play.

http://www.glucocious.com

2) Plan your action to control Diabetes: Make a winning action plan with respect to your meals, medication, sports and monitoring glucose. Remember, you can still enjoy your delicacies and be spoilt occasionally as long as you have a good game plan. Have a team around you, usually family members or friends, to be part of your game plan. It does require a good team work to win this game of diabetes.

Miami heat Winning 2013 NBA championship

3) Perseverance and follow up: It’s so easy to make a plan tonight and forget it tomorrow…lol! That’s how most of us do. And that’s why it’s important to have a team that can check whether the plan is being implemented or not. Perseverance is one thing that goes a long way throughout the life and of course,  management of diabetes is much more relevant to it. Make sure you follow up on your doctor’s appointments to see whether his treatment and your plans are working or not. And lastly, be happy, be positive and enjoy yourselves! That is my “2 cents” to all readers.