Opioid epidemic or Drs. not doing their jobs and creating a medication epidemic?

Each month we post an article pertaining to travel, photography, and now disabilities and medicine. Sounds like we are drifting from our main focus which is travel. Slightly, but for a good reason. Having been hit with an autoimmune disorder and learning to deal with being disabled has given me a different outlook and approach to the other subjects discussed here. Yes, there will be travel tips and discussions, photography instruction and images but for this months’ blog post I am going to shift focus on medications that doctors keep prescribing even when the patients explain why they do NOT want to take them.

If we are to follow the media and the incessant bombardment of pharmaceutical commercials and advertisements, we will all be deeply entrenched clients rather than patients who actually WANT to get better without the medications they keep insisting we take. I have been prescribed over 19 medications. Some I did try only to have terrible side effects. Others I have refused including ALL pain medications. The reasoning for the refusal of pain medications is after trying so many types and seeing the same effects of just being stupid with pain, I saw no reason to subject my liver and the rest of my body, including my mind, to these types of abuses. Abuses? Yes, I clearly state this as this is what it occurs after you follow the directions which are written on the bottle.

The federal government as well as state governments all have hopped on the band wagon to profess that there is an “opioid epidemic”. And how did this start? The pharmaceutical companies pushing them on to the doctors to prescribe. How many times have you been in a doctor’s office when a “drug rep” comes in with a tray of sandwiches, pastries, etc. etc. for the staff. They walk right in without waiting, sit in the doctor’s office and pitch their sales presentation. All this while we wait another ½ hour to see the doctor. I have witnessed this many times and have discussed this interruption process with multiple doctors. Their response was that it does not take much time etc. etc. and gives them “more details” concerning the application and administration of the drugs. A doctor who is a friend told me if he prescribed so many prescriptions per month he received bonuses such as trips, cameras, computers etc. Knowing that he has been to the Galopagos many times, Europe at least twice per year, Antarctic cruises, African safaris and a multitude of other places including China which were ALL paid for by the pharmaceutical companies, I can see why they do it.

Now that you know the reasoning why they are pushed so much let us delve into the discussions I have had when I refused to take or even fill the prescriptions. I explained to doctors that I am refusing them based on past experiences as well as what are the known side effects. Their response is usually a general response “not everyone gets those side effects”. My response to that is “how do you know I will not?” To which they never have an answer and state “it is like throwing darts”. I do not see that as a good way to treat the problems that you make an appointment to see them for. In fact, I have refused so many that my own Insurance company with whom I had a personal disability policy dropped my claim. Their statement to me was that I did not look disabled (autoimmune disorders usually do not reveal themselves clearly on the outside) nor have you taken any pain medications or other types of medications you were prescribed or recommended. Sorry if I did not want to become a client and face so many side effects.

I was referred to a neurologist who prescribed the medication Topomax for a severe polyneuropathy and other nerve problems. I researched this medication after I left and returned to see him in 2 months. I asked him if he knew what the worst side effect of this medication was, he stated “headaches?”. I explained to him that if he is prescribing a medication, he should know what it does and what it has the potential to do. He stated he had no idea that the most common side effect was the creation of kidney stones! I had just had a 4mm kidney stone removed which was a horrible experience in itself, especially the stent that was inserted after the stone was removed. At this point I was wondering if he ever even looked at any charts and notes of my past medical history. He stated, “no I have not.” I looked at him, called him an idiot and walked out of his office. Because of this I was refused to be seen by other neurologists in this hospital.

The heading of the article states “opioid epidemic” but in realty we are talking about a complete salvo of medications being prescribed without a thorough knowledge of the possible side effects as well as drug interactions, which by the way, my Rite Aid pharmacist caught, told me she would not fill a prescription and called the doctors’ office to discuss their lack of knowledge of the medication and its interactions. This is an epidemic of massive proportions without any end in sight. We are actually thinking of constructing a FaceBook page to BAN all medication commercials on television. So many watch these commercials and say “I have those symptoms” and then head over to the doctor who prescribes the medication. Great sales pitch and methods they have here in the United States. I clearly state, in the United States as NO other country allows this type of marketing. We are bombarded with ads in the doctor’s office, by videos playing (on TVs bought and installed by the pharmaceutical companies), ads in tray servers, ads in magazines etc etc. It is from HERE that this epidemic is coming from and must be stopped. In the next article we hope to have a link that will allow for a message to be sent to Congress concerning the ban on drug advertising in the media. I do not see this going too far as the massive money makers will push back hard. This is clear, the media is actually forcing this epidemic upon us.