Over the past several years I have seen and had family members experience some very un-enlightened medical staff at hospitals throughout the country. The latest incident was when my wife’s mother was taken to the hospital with pneumonia and an infection. Mother Millie had been on appropriately high doses of opioids for the past several years as her body developed tolerance to the medication. For instance she was on 80mg of OxyContin twice a day for at least the past year with other medications for pain flare ups.
The hospital staff put her on only 10mg equivalent of OxyContin and she started going into withdrawal. It is very fortunate that two of my wife’s sisters are in the medical profession and insisted on getting her help. This never should have happened.
Mother Millie died yesterday and at least she died peaceful as she was finally receiving the appropriate dose of medication—what where they afraid of that she would get addicted??? As you may tell from the tone of my blog today I am very frustrated that this happened.
As I stated in yesterday’s blog I do realize there is a growing problem with prescription drug abuse and even addiction but let’s be reasonable. Many older people are afraid to ask for more medication due to the press that surrounds the DEA’s war on pain management. Many physicians are not trained in chronic pain management and often err on the side of extreme caution and thus their patients suffer or are made to feel like a “low-life drug addict.”
I happen to believe that addiction is a medical condition as does the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the World Health Organization. This should be a healthcare issue not a criminal justice issue unless someone is obviously diverting or stealing drugs and selling them.