How can we work on making narcotics illegal? There are people especially the elders and others with heart problems or may have had strokes or may be allergic the list goes on, that die every year from getting narcotics. They are prescribed all the time and I feel that if we loose one person from these very dangerous, deadly drugs that is just one to many. People are dying needlessly from these drugs.This just really has to stop. Something has to be done so I am working on this.The medical field is way to addicted to giving drugs to people so the staff can be comfortable. The medical staff needs to be more concerned about the number 1 and the most important person in the hospital the patent's comfort and that does not include passing out deadly narcotics like candy. I think also patients should be drug tested as well. To make sure the staff will behave themselves. They must be monitored because we can not depend on the staff to not give deadly narcotics. I saw a person just simply say help in the hospital and the nurses were right there with the narcotics and said the patient needs to be comfortable. Really it is the staff that can't deal with anyone crying out even if it is one time. That is no reason to give dangerous & deadly narcotics.
Narcotics will never be made illegal, but nor do I think they should be. If you were going to make narcotics illegal - you may as well make alcohol, junk food and cars illegal - all of these things kill more people each year than narcotic abuse.
The thing is, for the most part, narcotics are prescribed and used in an appropriate way for pain relief - giving pain relief and quality of life to people following major operations, major accidents, or debilitating painful conditions.
Its just that some of us (me included) have addictive personalities and abuse them - and become addicted to them and very unwell because of it. But the majority of the poplulation take them with no problems. I know it may not seem that way when you are in the middle of an addiction - and/or seeing loved ones that are - but most people can take them as needed then forget all about them.
BTW serious allergic reactions to narcotics are rare (like anaphylaxis) - negative side affects do occur - but are usually not serious (nausea etc) - when I worked as a nurse I never saw or heard of anyone dying from being administered a narcotic (as you mention in the beginning of your post). Serious allergic reactions to antibiotics - especially penicillin - were much more common.
Also, there are policies in place in hospitals to prevent staff from mis-appropriating narcotics - I'm not saying it never happens - but it is rare.
So no - they will never be made totally illegal because too many people would suffer if they were - it would be considered inhumane.
They probably will make them more tightly regulated as time goes on- in an attempt to keep them from being sold on the streets - which I would welcome.
Actually there is a good reason for physicians to prescribe what you allege to be "dangerous and deadly" narcotics.
The reason is intractable pain.
I have great concern over governmental interference with the medical profession.
It is absolute nonsense to acuse the profession of needlessly prescribing pain killing medications.
Street drugs are another issue, which is already adequately addressed by existing legislation. In most cases the penalties are inappropriate and draconian.
Morphine and its derivatives depress respirations, which is the primary cause of death. This can be simply reversed by the use of nalaxone hydrochloride, or naltrexane. If the antidote were made widely available there would be very few deaths from overdoses.
The problem is not "too many prescriptions" but a failure to provide pain relief by physicians who are being harassed by "do-gooders" with no knowledge of medicine. It would be helpful for the thousands of cancer patients denied pain relief for these "do-gooders" to find another hobby, such as tropical fish or model trains, rather than put their two cents in pressuring politicians to interfere in the practice of medicine.
Hospitals have strict protocols and peer review of those who consistently overprerscribe medications. Doctors do not need "more monitoring".
Most physicians are caring and responsible individuals.
I assure you the medical staff in hospitals are well aware of the risks and benefits of pain killing medications.
I understand what you are saying. A public hospital I know about that treats a lot of addicts is very good at creating the addicts. From experience of being there and witnessing it, the physicians issue narcotic drugs to patients, even if they don't want them, and tell them that they don't have to worry about becoming addicted, that they need them for their pain, etc. Seriously. Seriously.
My family member was in the hospital for a long time and didn't want to take the meds, the physicians pushed them on him. He went off without telling the doctors and of course he started going through withdrawal. The nurses worked with him to get him off safely. A nurse told us that they see this all the time and the doctors don't care what happens to the patients once they leave, whether they are on drugs or not. The staff admired my son for going through this and was glad he was in the hospital when he did it so they could help him through it. The physicians were still telling him when we took him home that he didn't need to worry about taking the meds and getting addicted!
I know of at least one doctor who self administered narcotic drugs and died.
The narcotics I saw given were haldol and ativan, deadly cocktails. Especially since the patient was elderly.These drugs were used if the patient so much as moved a finger. It did not matter if the patient had Neuroleptic Malignant Syndromeis. The family can tell the staff about the sensitivity but the only allergies that matter are swelling or hives.Those are the only true allergies according to the medical staff. This is the only allergy that may slow down the use of these deadly narcotics. Quite possibly MAYBE The warnings on the label were to be ignored also. However nms kills.Box warning clearly states that these drugs are not intended for elders. Also given through the iv.The nurses just laugh about it and say this will do the trick.Sure if you do not care about killing the patient.Which was probably the case, the way the staff was acting. They thought that they could blame it on old age or some kind of medical problem if the patient does die. It seemed to be no big deal. It is hard to believe that such cruelty exists.The patient slipped into a coma and then later died.The staff just prefers to not have to deal with the patient. Just kill the patient instead and blame it on the patients illness or on a heart attack or stroke etc. real helpful. Way too dangerous. That is why narcotics should be monitored or just banned if they can not be monitored.This happened in southern california. I'm sure it is not an isolated incident. This happened when the patient was in icu in a coma from the drug overdose and nms. Apparently it did not matter.The ativan was continuously given on a regular basis even in icu when ever the patient moved at all. Then the patient did really get sick because they were given sepsis from the pic line.The pic line had to be put in because of the narcotic coma. The patient just came in there and was to be transferred to another hospital to get a check from a simple earlier surgery. Life taken for no reason at all. Just plain unbelievable.
It is up to the individual to be responsible as well, not just the physician. There are people who suffer from chronic pain, myself being one of them. I deal with chronic pain from a craniotomy each and every day, for which I take medication, which helps somewhat. To have those of us already with chronic pain suffer even more due to the irresponsible abuse and misuse of medications by a few/others would be as absurd as the suggestion to ban narcotics, i.e. this conversation.
As a member of the nursing staff at a major hospital in Seattle, I cannot begin to tell you how insulted I am by your preposterous sweeping generalizations of nurses. To say NOTHING of your utterly ridiculous and completely naive arguement to halt the use of narcotics in any medical setting.
Ya know what, azulbay. I just decided that I don't wish to talk to you anymore. I think that ignorant chip on your shoulder is just too large to budege........and I'm far too busy handing out deadly and dangerous narcotics to old folks because they bug me. Especially when they cry out in horrible pain simply because they're dying of brain cancer.
I sincerely hope that nobody you love EVER gets to the point of needing narcotics so they can pass on without pain, in peace and with dignity.
I suffer from debilitating, chronic, severe pain from massive injuries sustained in the line of duty. Many surgeries later, my only fraction of relief comes from narcotic pain medication. It is administered, prescribed and closely monitored by an excellent doctor. It is my ONLY option, along with millions of others like me. Making these medicines illegal, would be making my right to improve my quality of life illegal. After serving my country and municipality, and paying the ultimate, survivable sacrifice, multiple times, denying my right to the little relief I get, is inhumane and unAmerican. There are already countless measures in place that make it difficult for someone suffering to receive proper care in a timely manner, just to satisfy some ignorantly pain free idealist's agenda. Your problem is with the individual incident you witnessed, and those caregivers' choices, not with a chemical or two. If you were a witness to this situation, and didn't agree with how it was handled, why didn't you say something? Making medicine illegal is as ridiculous as it sounds. This site is a place for those of us unlucky enough to be suffering to get support, not get stressed out needlessly.
If you sustained multiple gunshot wounds, passing out and vomiting from the pain, can't move your legs, how would you feel if someone handed you an advil?
Just stumbled across this old post. Let me get this straight, I am a surgeon and the original poster would have me removing abdominal organs and then tell the patients to just suck it up because a few elderly folks with pneumonia succombed to narcotics to keep them comfortable in the last days of their lives? This do gooder would have to deal with the sudden increase in suicide from the patients in severe chronic pain that then had absolutely nothing to minimize their suffering. And the patient with the pancreatic cancer eating into the nerves adjacent to the pancreas that makes it feel like a hot shard of glass stabbed them and being twisted. The reality is that there is not a single intervention that a physician makes that can't potentially have an undesirable outcome.
I assume you have never suffered serious pain. If you had you would be singing a different tune.
Narcotics do not exist for the addict. They exist for the person who is experiencing severe pain. That there is a drug underworld is unfortunate, but the primary use for narcotics is to relieve the suffering of our fellow man. If this offends your sense of morality, so be it.
I just read your next entry. You had been talking against narcotics, but Haldol and Ativan are not narcotics, and they aren't even the same class of drug. It is hard to take you seriously if you, through lack of knowledge, lump together a bunch of drugs that treat different ailments.
I recently learned something of great interest. I, like you, know opiates to be respiratory depressants. Yet, recently, when I had to take Percoset because of neck pain, I noticed that I was breathing more easily (I suffer from emphysema). I told my GP about this and he said that breathlessness and pain were located in the same part of the brain and that breathing problems were often relieved by the use of opiates. My lung MD confirmed this. And,of course, I also checked it on the internet.
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