Facebook Folly and Pain Pill Problems

facebook iconWe are living at a time when civility, common sense and decency are in short supply. As just one example, it was recently reported that a pharmacist, annoyed by a customer needing a pain medication refill posted a profanity laced rant on Facebook, calling out the customer for what the pharmacist felt was the customer’s impatience. “Facebook Rant Puts Pharmacist in Hot Water”.

A pharmacist working in a retail environment is under constant stress — it’s something you learn to live with and manage. There is no question that dealing with the public can be challenging. It is many times more challenging when dealing with people who are sick or in pain. But venting anger on Facebook is never acceptable for any reason. It’s just plain stupid.

For the record, I don’t like Facebook except for business use. Nobody cares or needs to know if I went to Starbucks this morning and most people have (or should have) better things to do than care about how others live their daily lives.  For some people, Facebook is like a loaded gun they can’t resist aiming and firing. It is too great a temptation to use it to share with the world what’s on their mind, however inappropriate it may be.

About the pain pill issue. Last month I expressed my concern about government intrusion into the lives of chronic pain sufferers. The new requirement for a written prescription from a dcotor for each and every refill of certain pain medications is deplorable. It places an unacceptable burden on the patient, it’s an unnecessary nuisance for the prescriber, and creates more stress for the pharmacist who bears the brunt of patient anger when the pharmacy is out of stock as a result of government interference.

What is so irritating is that anyone looking for a hydrocodone type medication (Vicodin, Norco) can find it on the Internet or on the street. It will be expensive and may not be the real thing and might even be harmful but the point is, if you want it, one way or another you can find what you want – without a prescription. This was made clear on a recent Dr. Phil show that featured a woman allegedly addicted to pain medication. Not only was she taking it to control pain, she said she needed it to help her cope with other issues in her life. Dr. Phil asked where she was getting the medication in excess of what the doctor prescribed. Her ex husband (she was trying to get him out of her life) was buying it for her on the street! The bottom line is that curtailing legitimate patient access to needed pain medication is creating more problems than the government can solve. If the government really wants to control drug use perhaps it should step up efforts to stop the influx of drugs coming across the border.

For all of the valuable and beneficial uses of social media, I can’t help but think life was a bit more sane before its development, and life was certainly a lot less stressful before the government decided to control the degree of pain that sufferers must endure before taking medication. Our forefathers must be spinning in their graves.

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