drugs

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How low can you go? Stealing drugs from veterans?  I am a proud U.S. veteran, prouder still to consider myself a veterans advocate. I’ve seen too many veterans in pain.  I don’t think people who haven’t been there realize how much war is hell. They were stolen by a doctor.  A credentialed anesthesiologist.

I remember when I was first hitting dating bars and such, it was not uncommon for a  non-doctor to wear a T-shirt that said “trust me; I’m a doctor” that I guess was supposed to induce young women into the early stages of romance. Read more on Stealing Drugs And Eliminating Health Care…

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I heard it long ago, when I was early in my training, at some big international psychopharmacology meeting so I reproduce it here. “What people really want is an on-off switch.” Most people seem to get through life pushing the envelope only minimally.  A few cups of coffee in the morning helps promote “alertness.” A drink or two with the guys after work helps to “wind down” on the way home. Neither of these decisions is harmless. Although there are indeed some beneficial compounds in some forms of alcohol, I have come to believe that civilization has taken a poor turn in validating its use for a very long time.

Read more on Addictive Drugs and Questions They Raise…

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I have had a lot of trouble with the idea of criminalization of drug addiction for a very long time.

I am only one of a lot of folks who say “addiction is a real disease.”  People feel every bit as sick as people with other diseases, sometimes more.

The patients are certainly able to die every bit as dead. Read more on Babies Born Addicted…

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“There’s no such thing as a free lunch” – but there are plenty of free samples when you go to your doctor’s office for a prescription.

Be wary of free samples.

What? Am I asking you to look a gift pill in the mouth? Drugs are expensive, even the co-pay for drugs can be expensive.  What’s wrong with getting a freebie?

First, the drug companies that make them do not give them out forever.  Usually, they give out samples on a newer drug as part of a launch – kinda like a “grand opening” at a store.  The prices are really great that first week and it gets you trained to go to that store.

Another reason drug companies discontinue free samples is that, very often, the insurance companies or government programs may not have them on the “formulary” (the list of available drugs) right away.  As soon as the relevant insurance (mediCal in California) starts paying for them, you can say “Bye-bye” to free samples. Read more on Free Samples Might Carry Heavy Cost — Health…

Filed under Doctors, medicine, News by on . Comment#

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I was trying to remember when prescription drugs were allowed to advertise on television (called “Direct To Consumer Advertising, or DTCA”).  Fortunately, I didn’t have to bust my memory cells – I just had to “Google it.”

1995. The year all HHHHell broke loose.  At least if you were a doctor.

Suddenly, patients could make their own diagnoses and prescriptions and just phone the order in to their doctor.  At least, that’s how most patients thought it should work.  And – hoo boy! – were they upset when it wasn’t quite that easy.

Comedian Dennis Miller has a hilarious line: “I divide medical practitioners into two camps. Those who will give me a scrip for Vicodin over the phone, and those who won’t.”

Hilarious if you aren’t a doctor, that is. Read more on RX Package Insert — Just Read It!…

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Recently, a patient’s widow called to cancel a routine assessment because the patient suddenly died. There had been no freak heart attack and it had not been one of those undiagnosed cancers.  He just “died, suddenly, in his sleep, I guess,” she said. That got me thinking.

The first class of drugs I think about, when I think of sudden death, are the stimulants.  I remember when someone decided that everyone who was going to get stimulants needed to have a “cardiocentric” examination first.  Doctors asked a lot of questions about chest pain, and administered an electrocardiogram.  These precautions were especially interesting because they were – of course – used before prescribing Ritalin. Many child psychiatrists had laughed at me when I cautioned usage of this job, claiming it was the safest medication ever invented. Once – at the peak of my massive weight — an endocrinologist offered me a prescription of Meridia, to get rid of my excess weight.  He did not think the fact that there had been a “few” reports of sudden death should get in the way of my using it. Read more on Sudden Death in Psych Patients — From Medicine…

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“Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.”

— A Christmas Carol (1843)

Thank you, Charles Dickens, for creating such a wonderful, enduring story, and such an apt simile.  If you hadn’t heard it before, that’s probably because it is usually omitted from the children’s versions of the oft-told (and filmed and broadcast) tale.  With everyone from Michael Caine to (my favorite) Mr. Magoo starring as the wickedest man who ever snorted “Bah Humbug!” and was converted to the most ardent celebrant of Christmas by the end of the story.

A wonderful, happy story — and it deserves to live forever.  But death is not terribly suitable material with which to start a children’s story.

Young women (and men) — some no older than children and many who could be termed “recent children” — were ardent fans of singer Amy Winehouse — who is now “dead as a doornail.” Read more on Amy Winehouse Proved Drugs Aren’t Glamorous…

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Thanks to modern technology and “time-shifting” I was able to watch the brief apology speech Tiger Woods gave to his wife and children, his fans, the employees of his charitable foundation and – probably most importantly – his sponsors.

Some critics question the sincerity of the greatest golfer ever – noticing his lack of emotion or even passion when apologizing, his unfamiliarity with the text he was reading from and his lengthy wait to even appear and give such an apology.

TIger Woods' wrecked SUVMy concern was the total lack of mentioning a very serious aspect of the whole Tiger Woods fiasco – driving while intoxicated.  The whole incident erupted on the world news scene when Tiger smashed his luxury SUV into a fire hydrant and a neighbor’s tree and was dragged unconscious from the vehicle by his wife.

His lack of consciousness was suspected to have been caused by drugs and/or alcohol by the law enforcement personnel at the scene. In fact, one person at the scene, a neighbor, stated he had seen Tiger consuming alcohol earlier in the day.  But an attempt to collect medical evidence was denied by the Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office.

So perhaps the rich and powerful do get a few breaks the rank-and-file don’t get – such as avoiding criminal charges.

However, while dishing out apologies, Tiger Woods should have shown some remorse and/or regret for impaired driving.  After all, most of the hubbub about the situation revolves around the universal acknowledgment of Tiger as the model for today’s youth. Read more on Truth and the Law — and Miranda…

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