Opioid Epidemic & overdoses in Naples: What do Elephant Tranquilizers have to do with it?
PINK, TNT, FIZZIES, BOY, TRIPLE C — Cute names with deadly results
Opioid Epidemic and drug overdoses are unfortunate popular topics on the nightly news. Drugs are a problem everywhere, not just Naples, Fort Myers and the state of Florida. Many drug users don’t even realize what drugs they are taking.
It seems the latest round of exciting and new drugs from your friendly Heroin dealer include veterinary drugs used to put 2,000-pound elephants into a coma. The drug is called Carfentanil, (aka Pink) another variant of Fentanyl, only even more powerful.
Big Pharma created this monster drug that is now banned for human use and classified as a Schedule I drug by the FDA. When veterinarians need to put down an elephant, moose, or buffalo, this is their go-to drug. When administering the drug, they must put on face masks and gloves to prevent exposure to their skin.
A dose the size of a grain of salt is enough to kill a human.
Last year more than 34,000 people died from overdosing, unaware that their dope was being laced with these kinds of Elephant sized animal tranquilizers. That’s more than all the gun, auto accidents, and violent deaths COMBINED….and the numbers look even worse for 2017.
The tragic toll our opioid epidemic is taking on this country, and our state in particular, is only as unbelievable as the lack of a comprehensive national or statewide plan to attack this killer.
I often struggle to put this crisis in context. So maybe this will help. What if we had to watch as the Twin Towers of New York City fell over and over again on a monthly basis? How would we respond? Why doesn’t the opioid crisis evoke the same kind of emotional outcry for solutions?
After all, we are talking about Americans, our brothers, sisters, moms and dads dying daily at horrifying rates. Bombs designed to kill humans are going off daily in this country. They just aren’t falling from the sky. They are being peddled on our street corners and over the Internet by drug lords who really couldn’t care less how many Americans die.
Opioid Epidemic/Drug Addiction Solutions
As a physician in Naples who treats patients suffering from addiction disorders (including alcohol), I am often asked about “the solution” to this health crisis.
My answer first is that there is no “one solution.” The opioid health crisis did not begin in a vacuum. We doctors must accept responsibility for having a hand in creating this health nightmare. Every sprained ankle or dental procedure does not require a prescription of 60-90 pills containing opiate medication. We USA physicians write for 10X the amount of pain pills written in other countries!! Who’s the drug pusher now?
Where are the treatment centers for those patients desperately wanting to get off the drug addiction cycle?
Why don’t insurance companies offer comprehensive treatment for their clients who are suffering from addiction? Don’t they deserve medical treatment the same as their peers with, for example, Diabetes or Hypertension?
Addiction is a medical illness period. No person has ever prayed to the Lord Almighty to please make him or her grow up to be “a heroin or other drug addict.” We must reject the notion that “Addiction is somehow a lifestyle choice.” I assure you it is anything but. It also has nothing to do with a person’s character or “moral compass.”
One might argue that the Diabetic patient that continues to eat sugar based foods therefore does not “deserve” treatment for his or her kidney or heart failure (a direct result of “lifestyle choices”).
Come on America, let’s move Florida, times a wastin’ as my grandma would say. Too many kids (young and old) are dying in this opioid epidemic, which is preventable.
To my fellow doctors, please, take a moment and think about that next prescription you are writing. Did you even ask your patient if there is any history of alcoholism or addiction in his or her family?
Senators, Congressmen and women and Mr. President, please treat this threat to our Nation with the respect and attention it deserves.
And by the way, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, AETNA, Cigna, Tricare, and Allegiance, you guys wanna start practicing what you preach? You certainly respond when your subscribers miss a monthly payment. How about putting half of that effort on helping your clients be as healthy as they can by providing the care they need instead of the constant “review boards” that are a painfully transparent way of simply refusing to pay for services?
New treatments are available.
The time is now, Southwest Florida. We can do this together. We will be proud of our actions one day. Not today, though.
Please join me. We have the solutions at hand.