Only as Directed
Thank God for modern medicines and the relief from disease and suffering they provide. Palliative care and pain reduction have been important treatment goals of doctors during the past decade. This was in response to their previous reluctance and holding back painkillers, fearing that they might make their patients dependent on these drugs. However, in the past few years we have seen the downside of making these drugs so readily available and the consequences of their getting in the wrong hands. In a recent study reported on by Medscape Medical News, researchers at the University of Maryland at Baltimore noted a 291% increase nationwide in prescription opiate overdoses since the early 90’s. The primary increase was noted with Caucasian women. Their drug of choice? Oxycodone. “Use only as directed”, the tagline for some of the TV commercials marketing medicines, ends up being good advice for getting the benefits of modern medicines. But, this works only if we take them exactly as directed by the prescribing medical professional, as opposed to listening to the sensory pleasure-seeking part of us.
Nikki’s story shows how recreational prescription drug use can take a serious and tragic turn.