Sunday, April 26, 2015

A recovering person walks into an Emergency Room...

...and what happens next ain't no joke.

Popular recovery wisdom suggests that you disclose to the physicians treating you that you have a history of chemical dependence or abuse. 
Sounds good.
But what happens next?
After decades of prescribing serious pain meds (the various 'codones and 'contins) the medical types are starting to wake up to the fact that people get hooked on them. And then what? Well, they show up looking for more where they got them--the Doc!

I am sure that no one needs me to explain the legitimate problem of the sick addict tying up a busy ER while looking for a medical fix. But what about the hapless soul who has worked hard to maintain recovery, only to be treated like the scammish conniving junkie they left behind years ago, just because they were honest enough to tell the truth about their history?

Fortunately, we are beginning to see some glimmers of common sense shining through the messy confusion in the way of ER protocols designed to accurately address the problem. It is possible to separate the med-seeker from the recovering individual in a dignified manner that allows both to get the treatments they need.

But let me be clear. These protocols, at this point, are a flashlight in a mine shaft.

The bigotry and ignorance couched in phrases like "once an addict, always an addict" are hard to eradicate. And the medical field is the same as any other in that respect.

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