Yesterday's discussion with some of my (homeschooled) students, revealed that drug abuse is alive and well amongst their peers. And that their knowledge of drugs and its dangers was far more advanced than mine. Although I did not suspect any of them to be involved with drugs, it was very clear to me that they had known some kids who were involved. (not kids who go to our co-op, but just people they knew)
So, I asked them: what sort of drugs do these people take? Most of them take things like pot, or cocaine, or "cheap stuff" not like meth or heroin.
They also mentioned that programs like "Dare" were just peaking kids' interest in drugs, rather than accomplishing the goal of getting kids off drugs.
And as my mind wandered from that discussion, I recalled the recent news stories that I've been hearing about prescription drug abuse. The most recent story of this was on the case of a Florida woman who seemed to be from the "right side of the tracks" and was given a prescription for oxycondone, an pain killer.
So, I wanted to do some research on this because this could very likely affect someone I love or someone you love down the road. Here is what I've come up with.
Oxycondone is an opiate, sort of a manufactured form of opium. In the U.S., heroin used to be a prescription drug made by Bayer--can you imagine? Now we think of heroin users as the "most addicted" form of drug abusers. I am not sure when heroin made it from the prescribed status to the "illegal drug" status, but it was before my time. But my understanding is that oxycondone makes heroin look wimpy, very wimpy. In fact, it has put the makers of this stuff into a tailspin to make it "better".. whatever that means?
So now we have "oxycondone" as our modern-day prescribed "heroin". It is given to everyone from cancer patients surviving their last days to fibromyalgia patients. And prescribed opiates come in many shapes and sizes, depending on your ailment--vicodin, anyone?
The problem with these types of drugs is that they are highly addictive. Thankfully, I have never had a drug addiction or an interest in drugs, but I probably would be stupid enough to take medicine that was prescribed--especially if I were in a lot of pain.
And yes, I took vicodin after the C-section and the hysterecomy. And noticed a huge amount of pain and anxiety after deciding to be done with taking it after 5 days!! I was taking the medication for five days, people. After it happened not once, but twice, I decided never to take that medication again--for anything. But my question was why? Why the big drama of going off the meds? Now it is clear--opiates..
So, what is to be done? What if you, or someone you love has inadvertently gotten addicted to a pain killer, such as ocycodone? I would probably start here. This tells of personal stories and help available to regular people (like us) who have gotten help. In polite circles, we really do not want to bring this kind of thing up, do we?
How do we start a conversation with someone, "Oh so, how is your Bible study going? and uh. oh.. I think I'm addicted to prescription drugs.."
Well, let's talk about this stuff, OK? If you know someone who has chronic pain, ask them. So, what are you taking for that? How often do you take it? What do you feel when you take it?
Let's give a rip and care for people. There are other ways to deal with chronic pain. And there has GOT to be a better medication out there. And then I can teach them pilates or something!
Seriously, I am not an experienced chronic pain person, so I do not claim to know all the answers, but I just thought I'd put this out there. Can we at least raise awareness of this in our little circles of influence? See? I'm doing my little part right now. And I plan to tell my kids and family, as soon as they get out of bed... well, I'll probably let them wake up a little bit, first.