Might the Opioid addiction crisis, in part, be due to the unhealthy attitudes, which too often get programmed into our subconscious minds? While I’ve managed to steer clear of this prob, there have been too damned many opportunists, who’ve been doing their damnedest to make a druggie out of me… make druggies of us all.
• My age was still in single digits when I first became aware of the tobacco industry’s slick, spurious, multimedia, advertising campaigns crafted to BURY the truth about their addictive, deadly products and BURY their customers, too. They even used to sponsor the ABC network’s prime time kiddie cartoon TV series, The Flintstones. How an exec could’ve ever deemed it appropriate to huckster cigarettes to children had to have been that mercenary’s ‘tude… on steroids.
Of course, such crassness didn’t stop there. The nicotine pushers even colluded with confectioners… persuaded them to manufacture candy cigarettes… i.e., to corrupt kiddies long before they could legally buy the real deal. Back in the early Sixties, I had actually pestered my own father to buy me packs of those faux smokes. Dad had been conditioned so completely by that “smoking is harmless” nonsense that he was neither concerned about his own one+ pack-a-day cigarette habit nor his own son mimicking him / pretending to take drags off these candy coffin nails. Fortunately for me… but not for dad… my listening to him coughing up his lungs (for at least thirty minutes every morning) had completely negated the Madison Avenue ad-men’s “cigarettes are glamorous” fantasy. Of course, I didn’t wind up completely unscathed. The candy version’s sugar content did manage to decay my baby teeth. But far worse, since my father, eventually, smoked himself into an at least two decades too early grave, that prematurely deprived me of his company and counsel.
• Back in the here and now, I find it impossible to watch TV and read periodicals without being inundated by Big Pharma’s, direct to the consumer advertising blitzes. These freaks bombard us with their relentless sales pitches to extol the dubious virtues of their their, by and large, shoddy wares… namely, their barely FDA approved pills, potions and patches. They’re so adept at mind control that their captive, gullible (mostly layperson) targeted victims go rushing off, en masse, to the nearest medical complex to pester the crap out of their doctors… to beg for prescriptions for the latest rage “in-drug”.
It defies credulity that anyone would even consider any drug safe for human consumption upon discovering the typical kilometer / mile long list of (in fine print) side effects… inclusive of depression, diarrhea, loss of libido, cancer and even DEATH! Hmm… just for a moment, let us consider the slippery slope of such side effects… how they might affect patients who are, e.g., popping antidepressants. I mean, what could be more depressing than diarrhea, loss of libido and cancer? Will even more drugs be needed to cure the secondary ailments? Maybe even additional antidepressants to chase away the exacerbated depression? And what about the side effects that the new meds may cause… and on and on and on…
• Two summers ago, I suffered a minor injury, which necessitated a visit to my local Urgent Care Facility. My slashed thumb needed three stitches. End of story? NOPE! To facilitate my recovery, my doctor handed me a multiple paged, computer print-out of instructions… inclusive of a few paragraphs to inform me that, if needed, Hydrocodone… a.k.a. Vicodin… was readily available. Say what? A notoriously addictive, Opioid drug for such a minor injury? I wasn’t even in that much pain. I sure as hell did not want to mess around with THAT! Sure, I realize that toughing out pain is not always an option for everyone. Still, we must worry about anyone who’s so hellbent on getting high that they’ll jump at any chance to cop some legally prescribed, pharmaceutically pure drugs. To be sure, pain is no fun. But, neither is becoming a junkie.
I’m certain there are plenty of similar stories to tell. If you’d like to contribute your own observations to this blog, you are welcome to leave a comment.