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An addicts point of view – ie: A lesson in personal responsibility (lack thereof)

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Hi TAP I know I have called you an ass hole and a dick, but… well… there is a topic I have never seen your opinion on.

Thats a great way to start an email. “I want your opinion on something, and I’ve called you names before.” Hm… I guess I already know what my opinion is going to be.

You talk about addicts who refill their vicodin 2 weeks early, and are frequenting many pharmacies using their insurance, and doctor shopping and ER hopping. I know all about this, I am one of those addicts, or I should say WAS one of those people. I have been clean 2 years and counting.

Reading that right there sorta offsets you calling me an asshole and a dick in the past. Being clean for 2 years after something like this is nothing to scoff at.

I would like to explain some stuff to you from the addicts point of view. It’s a growing problem, prescription pain killer addiction. I blame everyone for this. It’s not 100% the addicts fault.

Oh, here we go. Its not the addicts fault that the pills fall into their mouths or they are FORCED to lie. Lets see if this email gets any better.

Maybe put some blame on the MD’s who get the person addicted by giving high doses of the pain meds, and give refills and believe the crap about them losing their script, and losing their meds and so on, vacation refills. Blame should be placed on the ER who treats the seeker with more morphine/demoral/dilaudid, they know he/she is an addict, their there 3 x a week with a migraine, but yet they give the pain meds. The insurance company who keeps authorizing the refills.

Yes yes yes, its everyones fault but your own. Hate to tell you sweety, but in today’s sue-happy day and age, if you go into the ER complaining of pain (ie: lying to them to get a fix. Something that they are not forcing you to do) and they refuse to treat you; and for some strange reason you stroke out and die, the hospital gets to pay your loser family a buttload of money. ER’s cannot refuse treatment. Morphine/Demerol/Dilaudid are fast acting, cheap, and get you in and out.
As far as doctors go, most do not have a good bullshit-o-meter to tell when you are lying. Most will just give you what you want just to keep you from pitching a fucking crying fit there in the office and wasting time. Doctors dont just look at you and say “Yup, you’re in pain, here are some norco 10’s” and send you on your way. It doesn’t work like that. YOU bitch that you are in pain. YOU bitch that the vicodin are not helping. YOU call in for an early refill. YOU LIE to US then have the balls to put the partial blame on us for not calling your bullshit (Upon which then you pitch a fit like a fucking child?) Catch a trend here? All of this STARTS WITH YOU MAKING UP SHIT. Since when are health care professionals your mommy and daddy to make sure you don’t cut yourself on that knife or poke yourself with that fork? If you want the government/someone to wipe your ass for you then move to China.
It makes me sick that you even consider us to be part of the problem when this is something that YOU start, YOU continue, and YOU pitch a fit when things don’t go some way.

I had been addicted for 11 years to vicodin, dilaudid, morphine, norco, vicoprofin, and many other narcs. I had aid and they paid for everything including the frequent er visits, different doctors, 10 refills of vicodin in 1 week. No BS!!

Yeah, 10 refills of vicodin seems like a lot when you are hitting every ER in town and paying cash for those 14 tablets the ER gives you before giving you the boot. I hope you have a thick skin, because I feel the readers of this blog are going to skin you alive and hang your bleeding body from the nearest overpass.

The crappy thing for you pharmacists you get caught in the cluster fuck, stuff that is no fault of yours gets taken out on you. I can imagine the names you have been called. I have done my share of bitching on pharmacists. I know I was pushed to the brink of calling in my own scripts. I could not function without the meds. Iwas sick and mean and a total wreck “tore up” without those meds. That’s probably why these people are so demanding and so nasty. You have to feel for them, while the blame is theirs you also have to think of who contributes to this persons problem. It’s scary to run out of your medicine, very scary. That’s the whole reason I quit, I was tired of being scared. I am sure you know all of the withdrawal symptoms. The vomiting, the shits, the sweats, the lethargy, the depression, even as far as suicide. I have been there. I use to go to the ER 3x per week, now it’s maybe 1x per year if that!. I have only 1 problem, as a recovering addict if I do go to the ER for a migraine I am thought of as a frequent flyer, it’s a double edge sword, if I tell them about my past and say I am a recovering addict I may not get the meds that will kill the headache. If I say nothing they’ll think I am fulla shit and not give the meds. Once an addict always an addict!! I’ve bitched out my MD about this. I still get narcs, but I am carefully monitored, it started out with 2 vicodins now I am up to 20 unmonitored per month. I take them cautiously, and only for severe headaches. When I do need to go to the ER it’s the same one I went to, to detox. They know my history, they test me and then give the meds. They know I am on vicodin. They also call the area hospitals to see if I have been a pt in the last few months. Not a problem, I have nothing to hide. 🙂 Sorry this is so long but I wanted you to hear the addicts side of thestory.

The quote “You shit in your bed, you sleep in it” really rings true here. I’m sorry (actually, im sorta not) that you did not receive the pain control that you require. However thats 100% all you right there. Its called personal responsibility and being an active part of your healthcare and well-being. You can ask to be referred to a pain management clinic. Morphine/Vicodin/Opium-products aren’t the only thing to relieve migraines. TCA’s? Neurontin? Depakote? Tegretol? Oh, those don’t give you the buzz that you look for. Sorry.
So no, I don’t “feel” for these people, much like people wouldn’t “feel” for me if I pissed all my money away on toys and couldn’t pay my bills (or you all don’t give 2 flying fucks about my feelings as you scream at me in the store). Until we put a gun to your head and make you take 1000 Norco (then lie to everyone on the planet as to why you need more) the only person that you can blame for your “condition” is yourself. Personal responsibility and accountability. Big words, learn them.
Thanks for letting all of us know the “addicts” perspective where we are viewed as just another person to try some sob story before hitting up the doctor or ER for more dope. Cue the addicts from now to tell me how much of an asshole I am.

Comments #

Comment by SWWa pharmacist on 2008-04-25 11:28:12 -0700 #

Even now 2 years later the hospital and pharmacies have to waste their fucking time babysitting you. Checking with other hospitals/pharmacies etc. I think if we took a poll addicts piss off pharmacists more than any group.

Comment by PharmStudent on 2008-04-25 14:51:44 -0700 #

Interesting take from “addicts” point of view. Even as a student, I have seen my share of “Victim”. These ppl can never accept their own responsibility for their own health. Nice post as usual TAP.

Comment by The Angry Nurse on 2008-04-25 15:09:45 -0700 #

Great post as always!
Reminds me of a family member of mine when going through the 12 step thing.
They called to “apologize” for their past misdeeds as a part of whatever step that is.
However all through the conversation I kept hearing how it wasn’t their fault. Pissed off I finally said:
“No one tied you down and forced the drugs into! So until you can admit you started taking the drugs yourself and continued to do so to the point that you got addicted don’t waste my time with the crocodile tears”
At that point more tears flowed and suddenly a support person for my relative who I was unaware was listening to the conversation started to berate me for my attitude and actually was stupid enough to tell me I was a nurse and should understand this better.
Big mistake!
After that let

Comment by Former Junkie on 2008-04-25 16:01:46 -0700 #

As a recovering alcoholic / drug addict (coming on 5 years), I can safely say that this reader is full of shit. That’s like me blaming advertising and bars for my drinking. Did I lie to doctors? Hell yes. Did I steal from people? Absolutely. Did anyone force me into the situation? Fuck no. I manipulated the system to get what I wanted, plain and simple. It isn’t the system’s fault. There are PLENTY of people out there who don’t abuse it, and are fucked just the same. Enough of the victim bullshit.
Funny enough, I had two major surgeries while I was still “out there”, both times having narcs prescribed. Know what happened when they ran out? Nothing. I moved on.

Comment by rph3664 on 2008-04-25 16:19:13 -0700 #

When I worked in retail (I left in 2003), we had an addict who the local ER would not see. We thought that was illegal, but they said it wasn’t.
So, he went to another ER until they got on to him as well.

Comment by pharmacy chick on 2008-04-25 17:45:54 -0700 #

Brilliant Post!
should I feel sorry for this bozo? hmmmmm,let me think about it for a moment…..uh. nope, not so much! I cannot believe he took the time to try and fly this crap by you. Really. Its everybody’s fault? but his? I am shocked he didnt’ try to blame us too.

Comment by michele on 2008-04-25 18:53:14 -0700 #

I had a really brilliant comment written but something ate it. I’ll try and recreate it and here goes. I’ve been a nurse since 1991. I’ve always to work ER so awhile back I did. I gave it a year but I wanted to quit the first week. Mostly because of the annoying, whiny, manipulative drug-seekers. When I had to give these largely parasitic, since most of them were somehow considered disabled, their fix of dilaudid/morpine/norco what the F ever, I resented it. I resented being their dealer, and how dare you, druggie letter writer, try to blame health care professionals for your addiction. And when you say you have to “bitch out” your doc – show a little humility. He doesn’t have to take care of you, especially since your “aid” or welfare probably reimbursed him less than 10 bucks. If you’re really serious about throw out all your narcs, and the next time you get a migraine, and yes, I know they hurt like hell, I get them too, take 800 of advil with a caffeine chaser. Any druggie who takes 20 vics a month is playing with fire. When you relapse is that going to be everyone else’s fault then too?

Comment by KDUBZ on 2008-04-25 21:07:49 -0700 #

Thank you so much for giving us the “addict’s” point of view. I must say you have really changed how I view people in this situation. I guess I have never been able to walk in the shoes of someone with absolutely no responsibility. You did forget to blame me as a pharmacist, for there have been times I may have failed to see through your bullshit and given you the medication.
I am so sorry that I fueled your addiction, no that I made you an addict. I know I deserved to be yelled at by you, because when you said….”Listen, I am in extreme pain, I lost my medication, and I am going out of town, are you too stupid to understand that?!?!” you were really saying “Please you evil monster, don’t force any more vicodin on me, my liver just can’t bear anymore of it.”
Once again thanks for the crack head, I mean addicts perspective. You have spent ten years of your life wasting our time, lying to us, and yes wasting other people’s money. Don’t worry though, I promise to be ever vigilant that I don’t make you an addict again!!

Comment by DanTech on 2008-04-25 22:50:45 -0700 #

“If you want the government/someone to wipe your ass for you then move to China.”
The History Channel had this documentary about how the various drug laws came about in the U.S. and it mentioned China’s opium problem and how they (sort of) solved it:
When the communists took over the country they dragged the addicts to the streets and executed them.
Don’t move to China if your an addict.
If this guy wants to clean up his life he has to take responsibility for his own actions so he has some control in his life and stop being a victim.
Other people will NOT take care of you. You have to take care of yourself.

Comment by chemgirl on 2008-04-26 00:33:54 -0700 #

i don’t think i would put this person in the “recovering addict” category. he still sounds very much like an addict to me, he’s just simply in the denial stage. no one will ever have sympathy for you or try to help you until you take complete responsibility for your actions. the only person/people who i place any blame on besides the actual drug addict is the drug company *cough*purdue*cough* who go around telling doctors to write for their new and improved 60 mg oxycontin tablet. what? of course oxycontin’s not addictive. of course it’s safe! so far it seems that most doctors actually have an iota or two of common sense not to fall for this bull shit, but every now and then you’ll get a “candy man” who’ll write everything and anything for everyone. then and only then do i see where there can be blame placed somewhere other than the addict, although most of it still lies with them.

Comment by MidwestPharmr on 2008-04-26 08:06:46 -0700 #

Shouldn’t this moron be at a headache clinic instead of popping “Vicodans” for migraines… Just sayin’.

Comment by Adam on 2008-04-26 09:00:57 -0700 #

Since when are opioids first-line treatment for migraines anyway? Being an opioid addict shouldn’t prevent you from getting Imitrex or Zomig or something.

Comment by nobody on 2008-04-26 09:28:02 -0700 #

Just like anyone else, the pill popper chooses a coping mechanism. Too bad it’s not yoga or sky diving, but it sure as hell isn’t the fault of the medical professionals. It’s up to the patient to say he can’t handle life and needs external help–nobody can read his mind.
While we’re at it, if I hear one more pharmacist introduce himself in conversation as a pharmboy and then immediately throw out that disclaimer, “I’m a legal dealer, *shrug*” I’m going to projectile vomit on his shoes. Why do people frequently refer to pharmacists as “legal dealers?” They’re trained professionals who help treat many patients out there who aren’t fucking addicts or know-it-alls.

Comment by Soren Faust on 2008-04-26 10:25:34 -0700 #

The poor sap didn

Comment by exi on 2008-04-26 10:28:44 -0700 #

Nicely done, TAP. Nicely done.

Comment by mellee on 2008-04-26 10:59:23 -0700 #

LOL your a crack up TASSHOLEP Asshole asshole asshole asshole dick dick dick dick!! I am not a MAN damnit!! I am the one who wrote him this letter, and FYI Never once did I call him an asshole except for the comment about the joke you and TAestP played. That was it. So where are you pulling this all from, you distorted the letter in whole. That makes me think that maybe the stuff you write is all crap. I have a real copy of the letter I wrote, I had a feeling this may happen. It’s abit different that what you wrote. You chose bits and pieces that you could have fun with! Oh and for those moronic commenters, I am a RECOVERING addict, not an active addict. I have alot of clean time behind me, and if that’s something to make fun of, I feel so very sorry for your pt’s or customers! Very sad you have to bash a RECOVERING addict. Don’t you have other things to talk about? Instead of making fun of someone who opened their heart to you. Maybe you are sitting there laughing at this, but I am not, none of you have ever talked to me, you know nothing, you don’t know if I blame myself or someone else. I couldn’t even get thru most of this blog, because I am alittle sensative about this subject. Maybe thinking maybe my life is just a big joke. I just wanted you to get a better understanding of what recovering addicts and active addicts feel and go thru. Oh and to the idiot commenter, I blame *ME* and no one else. I hope you decide to post this comment in whole, and not only publish the comments you can make fun of. But then again, I can’t expect you to have any feelings after what you wrote 🙁 So I guess you really are an asshole and a dickhead! SAD, very sad.

Comment by PharmD 2B on 2008-04-26 11:06:29 -0700 #

Addict, you’re a god-damned asshole! Because of people like you, people like me who actually ARE in pain have a more difficult time than necessary getting our meds! You think it’s scary to face the consequences of withdrawal?? Try facing the consequences of not getting medications that ARE NECESSARY to ensure some tolerable semblance of life! It’s bad enough that I’ve had to endure five years of pain that makes me cry nearly daily, but the constant scrutiny to find out whether I actually need it is depressing. I don’t know which doctors you go to, but contrary to your story, they do not just hand these medications out willy-nilly like lollipops. If you didn’t throw a bitch fit, you would not have gotten them, so don’t blame anyone but yourself! Thank you for making my life so much more difficult with your lies; I really, really appreciate it.
You know what the kicker is, though? I’m just finishing my second year of pharmacy school so that I can take the abuse that your ilk deals out. Unlike you, I am not on any type of aid; I’m actually TAKING RESPONSIBILITY for my care and my life. You don’t know what that means? You should at least make an attempt to figure it out before you write any more of these asinine emails. As the saying goes, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Comment by ano nymous on 2008-04-26 11:31:10 -0700 #

Wow, tough room. All I can say is even good people can become addicted. Bad things happen to good people. I just hope none of you ever ends up in a bad predicament because as you can see there is little sympathy in this world. Of course, this can never happen to you because you have iron wills. You just don’t realize how fragile that illusion is. I hope you never have to find out.

Comment by WenDpharmD on 2008-04-26 15:39:53 -0700 #

A pharmacy that I am interning at unknowingly hired a “recovering” addict – two years off the meth – wow, good for you. After she got caught stealing CII’s from the customer’s bottles, she wrote a long letter ‘apologizing’ and explaining why it wasn’t her fault. Apparently the BOP agreed because they reprimanded the pharmacy manager for failing to protect the public from this addict. I don’t understand where these people get off calling themselves ‘recovered’ when they can’t take responsibility for their own actions. Every sentence shouldn’t start with the phrase: ‘Yeah, I took the drugs BUT…(insert excuse here)’ This person obviously doesn’t understand the obligations of a healthcare professional. Pain doesn’t show up on an xray, and we sure as hell can’t gauge it at the pharmacy counter. We try to act in good faith; we are not your accomplices! Maybe someday when you can say, ‘I am an addict and every step I took to obtain and use drugs was my fault’… then you can say you are in ‘recovery’. Sorry about your headaches, I can’t wait to see your reply about why the alternatives TAP pointed out don’t work for you!

Comment by Steph on 2008-04-26 15:56:14 -0700 #

Yep, it’s the helpless, needy, time-consuming, complaining, demanding, entitlement-minded patients who piss me off the most, and at the top of that list of patients is the narcotic addicts. (Those and the Ritalin mothers.) They piss me off the most. We’re not ALLOWED to call bullshit on them, or we risk getting fired or sued. We do as we’re told. It does gall me that so many doctors believe their patients need as many narcotics as they do. And, by the way, narcotics are CRAPPY drugs for migraines. They don’t treat any of the underlying causes, and they don’t relieve the pain very well, either. Migraine sufferer + narcotics + Fiorinal = addict. Virtually 100% of the time. And they’re usually women. And hell hath no fury and tears and screaming fits and “vacations” and “lost medications” like a female migraine sufferer on narcotics and Fiorinal. Jesus Christ, already.

Comment by wtf on 2008-04-26 17:36:45 -0700 #

The delusions here are hilarious.
So wait. It’s the doctors fault for prescribing narcotics to addicts.
Yet two paragraphs later, it’s the doctors fault for NOT prescribing narcotics to people with a history of addiction. In fact, “you’ve bitched out your MD about this”. Maybe he needs to go to a self-esteem booster camp for not pouring you a warm glass of STFU.
This email is like a course in how not to reason.

Comment by one_angry_tech on 2008-04-26 19:19:42 -0700 #

Personal Responibility.. such a big words, hmm.. funny how once they never set the blame where it lies.. themselves. Everyone else forced them to take the Vicodin, ooh.. I don’t want it but you are shoving it down my throat, so I’ll choke if I don’t take ’em.

Comment by Pharm Guy on 2008-04-26 20:17:27 -0700 #

This is time #2 for reading this blog – I’m hooked! You know, that what a great email. Who knew that people could be so screwed-up backwards. This entry was right on the money as usual! Responsibility is the perfect word. What a waste of money going to the ER for pain meds! Meanwhile, there’s somebody in the waiting room with a real need to see a doctor. So once again, suck it up and admit where the real fault ultimately lies.

Comment by chemoqueenrph on 2008-04-26 22:18:41 -0700 #

Hmmmm, well I personally know someone who knows they have an addictive personality, and knows that if they have a procedure & get Lortab afterwards, they sleep better. It would be so much easier for said person to milk that afterwards to get more Lortab and get caught up in that cycle of addiction. But they don’t. They suck it up & deal with life after the Lortab runs out.
Then there was the time I was doing relief work for a chain. I was on the phone, and the tech nervously told me a pt wanted to talk to me. I glance up & this chick starts pacing up and down in front of my counter, talking to herself.
Great. Like I need this shit today. I don’t know this person from Adam & what their story is. Do you think I made up my mind before I talked to her that I wasn’t filling jack shit controlled subtances for her today & would call security to haul her ass out if she gave me any trouble?
Hell yes I did! Fortunately, she just explained that her doc was giving her a small amount of meds to slowly get her off of her drug of choice, and she was worried that it wasn’t enough to keep her from going into withdrawal. I was able to reassure her that she was being weaned adequately.
I suppose if she had demanded I refill something early then it would have been MY fault that she continued to be addicted if I had gone ahead & refilled it.
We had a local celebrity that made the news for being exposed as a prescription pain pill addict. Celebrity’s independent Pharmacist got called before the State Board of Pharmacy, and their name dragged up in the media.
Is it any wonder that when you started asking for refills a little bit earlier each month that your Pharmacy staff started to treat you like crap? Our license and ability to make a living is on the line.

Comment by angry Male Nurse on 2008-04-26 22:29:53 -0700 #

What a fucking joke. Thanks for enlightening us from the side of denial.
Guess what-telling the world “once an addict still an addict” does not make STILL BEING AN ADDICT OKAY.
Being in recovery means you don’t use drugs.
And who fucking treats migraines with Vicoden?
Let me tell you why you are still getting vics-
You write about being thought of as a frequent flyer- guess what? 1) You are a frequent flyer and 2) “I bitched to my MD about this”
You are such a self pitying pathetic pain in the ass that your doctor would rather just give you the fuckin 20 pills a month (which you no doubt binge and take the whole load in 2 days) than listen to your ridiculous self absorbed 12 stepper addict speech. Your usage got out of control, you had to run to Mommy , i.e. detox cuz you got in over your head and now the whole medical community in your area has 86’d your opiate habit. I doubt you went in to detox anyway, you probably OD’d. No fuck that, you didn’t OD, you THOUGHT you were OD’ing so you called 911. That’s the best.
Here’s a tip: if you mash up your vics and pour it into a fleet enema (make sure you get all the laxative up there) and shoot it up into your ass you’ll get really high. Lets call a spade a spade.

Comment by Lucky D on 2008-04-27 06:59:48 -0700 #

Oh my. Where to begin…
As many far more intelligent people than I have already stated, Vicodin is NOT appropriate treatment for chronic migraines, and the commenter is STILL an addict. She’s just trying to justify her behaviour, and whilst SHE, in her deluded state, might believe her own bullshite, the rest of the world does not.
WTF happened to accountability and personal responsibility? Why do some people always feel the need to blame someone, anyone, else for their actions? Why can’t this email commenter accept that SHE was the one who lied, that SHE was the one who was deceitful, that SHE was the one who manipulated people and that SHE is the one who got herself into this mess and is, ultimately, responsible for her own destiny?
I’ll tell you why: because she’s a malingering, drug addled ‘vicodan’ addict. That’s why.
She disgusts me.

Comment by rph3664 on 2008-04-27 11:04:30 -0700 #

AMN, I heard that Stevie Nicks took cocaine that way because she didn’t want it to damage her nose and appearance.
Maybe it would have helped with hemorrhoid pain, if nothing else.
I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned Stadol. Have you ever heard of anyone using that who didn’t end up addicted? I haven’t.

Comment by chemgirl on 2008-04-27 13:40:06 -0700 #

dear ano nymous,
first off, what makes you think that no one in this room has had to deal with an addiction of some sort or another? i, too, have been on some rather heavy painkillers throughout my life due to the fact that i have 3 to 4 kidney stones a year for the past 5 years. do i feel loopy? heck yes. do i sleep better? yeah, i’m practically in a coma. do i like the way i feel when i’m on them? hell no. i recognize that there’s a potential for addiction, however i listen to my body and take the smallest dose possible. just because the doctor writes for 3 pills every 4 to 6 hours doesn’t mean that’s how many you take! that’s the MAXIMUM! it seems that our “addict” friend doesn’t understand that and that’s why no one has any sympathy for him. we’ve all been through our own shit but we’ve all gotten ourselves out of it and taken responsibility for our own actions. i see many current and recovering addicts come in my pharmacy. and yes, i do feel sorry for the ones who recognize what they have done and are trying to fix it. i feel no sympathy for those who place blame elsewhere, because they really don’t want anything to change.
from now on, i’m using the “pain ruler” at our pharmacy. it’s a little strip of plastic that resembles a ruler, except it has little smiley faces on it. a smiley means a “0” on the pain scale. a big frowny face means a “10.” if you’re smiling a bit too much when you ask to get your oxycontin filled, no pills for you!

Comment by Drew on 2008-04-27 14:22:28 -0700 #

This whole discussion really points out the difference between an addict and a junkie – an addict is someone who has a physical or psychological addiction – that’s it. How many fully-functional addicts are there out there? Millions. People who have a problem, but still manage to hold jobs, maintain relationships, and basically function in this world without someone wiping their ass. They may or may not know they have a problem, but they work around it. A junkie is an addict who thinks that they deserve a special prize for getting themselves addicted. They are the useless a-holes who can’t make it 4 hours without getting trashed on whatever. They feel society owes them something, and they pitch a fit whenever anyone challenges that view. So the next time you pass a meth-head, oxycontin popper, or alcoholic who has to go on public assistance because they can’t hold a job, feed their kids, or maintain basic hygiene, remember, this is not some sad little addict who needs to be put into rehab – this is a fucking junkie who should be put in an asylum so big, bad life can’t hurt them anymore.

Comment by Drew on 2008-04-27 14:23:31 -0700 #

This whole discussion really points out the difference between an addict and a junkie – an addict is someone who has a physical or psychological addiction – that’s it. How many fully-functional addicts are there out there? Millions. People who have a problem, but still manage to hold jobs, maintain relationships, and basically function in this world without someone wiping their ass. They may or may not know they have a problem, but they work around it. A junkie is an addict who thinks that they deserve a special prize for getting themselves addicted. They are the useless a-holes who can’t make it 4 hours without getting trashed on whatever. They feel society owes them something, and they pitch a fit whenever anyone challenges that view. So the next time you pass a meth-head, oxycontin popper, or alcoholic who has to go on public assistance because they can’t hold a job, feed their kids, or maintain basic hygiene, remember, this is not some sad little addict who needs to be put into rehab – this is a fucking junkie who should be put in an asylum so big, bad life can’t hurt them anymore.

Comment by Michelle on 2008-04-27 15:35:57 -0700 #

when I worked at an independent pharmacy, every controlled script was run under insurance first. even if the patient told us they were paying cash. if it came back as too soon we refused to fill it as cash. period. the one exception was the patient who traveled often. we made him give us a letter from his pain management doc to keep on file. no problems.
i work at a chain now, where everything is numbers. “oh it didn’t go through his insurance… just fill it for cash. he doesn’t mind paying.” I mind filling it, not that it matters to the pharmacist.
when I graduate, I’m going back to independent.

Comment by Frank on 2008-04-27 17:45:43 -0700 #

Do you normally warn your patients about addiction when dispensing narcotics? I don’t and I have seen any my colleagues do so either. When someone in chronic pain who gets a lot of narcs and get addicted has forgone his personal responsibilty?
Its like tobacco company used to operate. A lot of people got addicted unkowingly.
I always feel empathy for addicts. Nobody choses to be an addicts and destroy theire lives. Healthcare professionals can be helpful to these people and often are not. We despise them and rather ignore or reject than help or intevene.

Comment by erabbitus on 2008-04-27 18:53:51 -0700 #

jesus christ.
is that person fuckin kiddin me with that email, TAP? are they fuckin for real? i have heard some unbelievable shit in my time but this tears it.
hey! shit-for-brains! if the er/md/pharmacist filled your FREE prescription because they (God forbid) actually believed you NEEDED it, its not shame on them. its shame on YOU. dont bother “enlightening” us with your “im the victim here” bullshit cuz what you wrote makes absolutely no sense in any language of any country in the entire fuckin world.
its people like YOU who waste other peoples hard earned money to get your stupid highs. its people like YOU who make the lines in ers 7 hours long while kids are fuckin bleedin from the head and elderly patients are strokin out. its people like YOU who piss off doctors and pharmacists and nurses and social workers by wiggin out to get your way like a spoiled child. and its people like YOU who make health care professionals suspicious of people who are in REAL pain and make it harder for them to get their meds. and the only thing youve managed to “enlighten” us with is that YES. all of that is, in fact, true. so congratulations. you just vindicated everything TAPs ever said about lazy, stupid, fucked up, manipulating addicts.
oh and by the way. so glad that youve “recovered”. so glad to hear that your recovery attitude revolves around blaming other people who were genuinely trying to help you being the coercing factors of your addiction. that makes a lot of sense. sometimes bad shit happens to people and they pick the up the bottle, pills, knife, whatever to make the pain go away. and the rare people who actually quit tend to ACKNOWLEDGE how fucked up their behavior was. but thats not what YOU said is it? no…you just wanted to rub in everyones face how long you were able to exploit a system developed to genuinely help people who need it. i cannot believe you got away with it for so long. if it were my pharmacy you frequented, id have called the cops on your ass ages ago. why dont you do something useful with your newfound addiction free life like give talks instead of hassling TAP with your utterly moronic bullshit? nice one, asshole. nice one.

Comment by drheidi on 2008-04-27 19:16:33 -0700 #

Thanks. This person’s words will be very helpful to me. I think I’ll print them off and give them to every fricking drug-seeker I see–maybe then they’ll realize I’m doing them a FAVOR when I don’t give them Percocets. I could’ve used this today when I told a snotty little bitch “NO” after getting the dirt on her from my friendly neighborhood pharmacist (I love my independents, but I also REALLY love those centralized profiles).
Thanks, TAP, and thanks to all you pharmacists who help us docs know when one of these psychos is scamming us. PLEASE call me ANYTIME if someone’s getting boatloads of narcs. If I’m giving them narcs (I do urgent care), it’s because I haven’t been able to prove they’re lying to me yet. If you can help me prove it, I’ll LOVE you. Call me!!

Comment by intern2010 on 2008-04-27 20:10:32 -0700 #

Blaming the pharmacist because your addicted to narcs is idiotic, of course it seems in times like today nothing is every one’s own fault. I’m overweight because I don’t get enough excersize, it’s not anyone elses fault but my own.
I’ve seen alcohol destroy a person becuase they were addicted to it. They were told to not take another drink otherwise they would be dead, and what did they do? They went to the bar and downed a couple of shots, went home and died a few hours later. It is not the bar or bar tender’s fault the person died, it was the person himself that did it. And this person was my mother’s father who decided to do this after years of being a raging alcoholic.

Comment by intern2010 on 2008-04-27 20:14:36 -0700 #

I’ve also got to say TAP that talking about addicts and then having the google ads brodcasting for online vicodin ordering and next day delivery from and doesn’t really look too good. You might neeed to try alter the ads or something because we all know you hate sites like those with a severe passion and have inspired many a rant on this site.

Comment by PharmD 2B on 2008-04-27 20:37:41 -0700 #

Anonymous, it’s not that we’re unsympathetic; perhaps you should re-read TAP’s post. The reason there’s so much vitriol directed at the writer of the email is because he’s not only refusing to take responsibility for his actions, he’s actually accusing his healthcare providers of turning him into an addict. Everyone has their own unfortunate circumstances, and we certainly all have our vices; however, most people accept responsibility, at least partially, for their own shortcomings. This fool purports that his addiction is the fault of everyone else, and certainly not his own.

Comment by RxStudent on 2008-04-28 10:03:57 -0700 #

The next thing this guys is going to say it is the pharmacists fault when the patient they deny an early refill on decides to sit outside and follow the pharmacist home. True story, one of the pharmacists I work with was followed home after refusing to fill a patient’s vicodin. Needless to say a restraining order was filled, the patient is banned from our entire store and pharmacy, all the other pharmacies have been made aware b/c of all the press, as well as the local hospitals. So again people need to look in the mirror and point all the blame at the person they see. So before pointing the blame at everyone else take a good look at yourself and save everyone the time and frustration.

Comment by grumpytech on 2008-04-28 22:21:34 -0700 #

intern2010…unfortunately, TAP doesn’t have control of the ads. Because his blog deals with pharmacy, it links up with any ads in that catagory.
As for the addict…must be nice that you are not to blame for your problems.
(gods, I hate people like this)
Thankfully, since I can’t take codiene, or codiene derivitives, there isn’t much chance that I’ll ever get addicted to something (I’d refuse to take anything in the CII catagory unless I’m dying…I was given morphine for labor pain, what a joke, because I wasn’t quite dialated enough for an epidural.) I had 40 darvocet, which I’ve have for 3 months, and still have most the bottle left. I couldn’t imagine being so strung out that I couldn’t go without my meds…

Comment by ipw on 2008-04-28 23:09:45 -0700 #

interesting logic….
So if someone is addicted to shopping and uses up all their money, are we to feel sorry for them too? Indeed I’m pretty sure it’s very scary to run out of money, very scary. Do we then blame all the shops, all the manufacturers of goods? In fact, regular goods being basically unregulated, I daresay this person is even more blameless than you my dear addict, as they don’t even have to lie to get people to fuel their addiction. Therefore my sympathy is spent all on this hypothetical person. So sorry.

Comment by Soren Faust on 2008-04-29 12:45:13 -0700 #

In all fairness to the

Comment by William N. (R.Ph.) on 2008-05-01 11:41:26 -0700 #

When I read what this addict had to say I thought I might explode from trying to process such a huge load of bullshit all in one sitting!
Let me tell you here and now sweet cheeks, IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT! Oh, And how, pray tell, do I possibly have such an in-depth insight into the world of the addicted mind? Because I am one. And believe me, I did not get clean and sober until I finally learned to take full responsibility for my own behavior. The only thing we addicts are not responsible for is being born genetically pre-wired with addictive tendencies. After that, honey, we have 100% responsibility over what we do with our lives, how we lead our lives, and how we treat the people in our lives. So stop blaming everyone around you and take a look in the mirror at who is fucking up your life for you. Hello, IT’S YOU!
This addict also had the unmitigated nerve to write that some responsibility should be with those who write the ‘scripts and fill the ‘scripts. Give me a fucking break! Let me guess, she’s like the tie-wearing fuck-stick who came into my store last Friday aternoon 20 minutes before closing and asked for his Norco 10/325’s to be refilled. When I told him that he had 8 more days to wait he threw a fit that would have made Dr. Phil crumple into a steaming pile of rancid wolf shit. I know how it feels to go through the withdrawal phase, but calling your pharmacist a “cock-sucking bearded freak” doesn’t help one’s case. (Of course, he was essentially correct, but he didn’t have to raise his voice…)
Also, the very fact that this person is still taking opiates at all is a clear indicator that she is STILL USING (you idiotic bit of twaddle). I know from my own experience with recovery that only complete abstinence, going to meetings, and talking to others in the same situation will bring about any real change. And even then, you have to want it to happen. Doing this supposed “controlled usage” crap is not helping her at all. Even now with 11 years clean I have those old thoughts once in a while when I have to dispense opiates. Come on, my situation is like an alcoholic owning his own liquor store! But I maintain day-to-day by making a real effort. I can only imagine that Our-Lady-of-Pain-and-Suffering here only picks up the phone to bitch for another refill rather than reach out for any real help.
My advice to you my dear is to get real with yourself first and get it through your head that your addiction is your own responsibility to deal with and no one else’s. Get your ass to a meeting somewhere ASAP. You don’t even have to participate! Just go sit down and listen to what other people have to say. Trust me, you’ll be amazed that so many people out there have problems much wose than you and still manage to turn things around. Help is always there for those who seek it. I wish you the best.

Comment by prefer anonymous on 2008-05-01 11:48:33 -0700 #

First of all, thank you Ano nymous and S. Faust for having the human dignity to address both sides of the issue. I must say for a group of health care professionals you sure are showing a total lack of regard for human suffering, and some of your language when referring to patients in pain is just disgusting, as “professionals” you should be ashamed of yourselves. I would like to see any of you in a chronic pain situation and see how you deal with it. The “addict/junkie” labelling aside, the true issue here (for me anyway)is helping your patient deal with pain. I personally suffer from fibromyalgia, disintegrating discs and arthritis in my spine and a herniated disc, all stemming from a very serious m.v.a. in which I was the victim. The only way I have been able to attain any normalcy in life and keep being a responsible working adult is with the help of my opiate pain meds. Otherwise I would probably be rolled up in a ball 24/7 sapping the welfare system. With the help of a truly caring and empathetic doctor who isn’t afraid of being labelled a “drug dealer” I have been able to keep on working and dealing with moderate amounts of pain instead of debillitating pain. So please, next time you want to turn away from the problem take a moment to truly consider the suffering of the patient and what you can do to help instead of looking at them as a social pirrhia. I don’t know what they teach you in medical school although I’ve been led to believe very little time is attributed to pain management, but just for a moment place yourself in that other person’s shoes and see how you would feel being called names and having your pain disregarded as “drug seeking behaviour”.

Comment by assface on 2008-05-01 23:06:07 -0700 #

so the angry pham does it again.
I wrote in on that. thats a collauge of a bunch of emails and comments that the angry pharm butchered up and made say whatever he wanted to say . i wrote that whole paragraph that he wrote shit the bed under. he took out half and put the other half of what he wanted it to say in. dont listen to this guy hes all fake as fuck.
hes not real. its not even a real blog. its just an eago inflation device. he mentally masturbates about it.
if he can’t put what his readers say in his posts then thats fuckedup. instead changing it for readers pleasure. i am clean and i wanted to tell him the true point of view that someone thinks they have in the active disease of addiction. but he didn’t put that in, instead he changed it to make you guys want to read his blog more. fuckin suckers.

Comment by jane on 2008-05-03 19:30:54 -0700 #

I call bull-shit on the addicts who want to blame everyone but there selves. I was a fucking heroin/meth addict from 15-23 I fucking locked myself in a room & spent 3-4 weeks shitting & puking myself. God I wish I was deluded enough to fucking blame my dealer or maybe my mom! that’s a good one. NO! It was my fucking fault. I was a dumb fucking kid. I got over it. Those of you who bitch about Dr.’s not taking your “pain seriously”. Give me a fucking break.Why the hell should he? Just because you’ve gone to rehab doesn’t mean shit. A lot of addicts get clean just so their tolerance goes down. Why don’t you try going to the same physician for a long amount of time? Why don’t you try letting your Dr. get to know you? I told my doctor straight up I was an ex-addict. But I also wasn’t going in complaining of “migraines” or “fibromyalgia” give me a fucking break. Your body is fucked up because you HAVE NO DRUGS! deal with it & get over yourself. You did this to yourself. YOU! There is no fucking two sides to this. You made yourself an addict your to blame period. Thre is no socio-economic bull-shit you can throw me either. I wasn’t an addict because we were poor I was an addict because I was bored & liked being high.

Comment by daughter on 2008-05-05 00:04:42 -0700 #

For the first time EVER I think that y’all are being too hard on the addict. My mom is a currently clean addict. She had 15 years of sobriety (alcohol and illegal drugs) when she had an injury. Her doctor assured her that vicodin would be okay for her. You know the story…it eventually escalated to lots of vicodin, norco, morphone, dilaudid, actiq…. Getting addicted was 100% her fault. She chose to take the drugs, she ignored the warning signs, she exhibited drug seeking behaviors. BUT her doctor was not without blame. Yes, an addict will always find a way to get drugs, but what quack will prescribe 20 actiq per day (in addition to several other additive substances) for a subjective complaint of pain. She currently has almost 6 months with nothing stronger than ibuprofen. Like I tell my mom, her addiction was 100% her fault (she can be manipulative enough to get drugs from anyone), but also partially her ex-doctor’s (who is currently in hot water for the Anna Nicole Smith fiasco). Doctors have a responsibility to do what they can to stop irresponsible use of substances.

Comment by D.A. on 2008-05-06 01:18:52 -0700 #

I’m sure it’s frustrating as hell, and sometimes scary, to deal with addicts. I’ve heard this is the case from pharmacist friends. Still, addiction is a disease, accompanied in some cases by observable differences/changes in the nervous system. That isn’t to say that addicts can’t still make good and bad choices, but those choices are affected by irrational impulses. Some of the comments here are pretty ridiculous. I say this as someone involved in addiction and pain research, and not addicted to anything but caffeine.

Comment by an actual recovering addict on 2008-05-09 15:23:10 -0700 #

You’re not 2 years clean. If you have 20 “unmonitored” Vicodin/month, you’re still using. Dope is dope.
Migraine headaches or any other kind of pain isn’t a justification for using for a recovering addict. The fact that you have the disease isn’t your fault in the same way that someone with blue eyes isn’t at fault for that. Everything else (the lies, the cons, the withdrawal…everything) is on you. You’re responsibility. A doctor CANNOT make you become an addict. I you are an addict, you were born with a predisposition (think of that as a loaded gun) and by exposing yourself to whatever dope got your rocks off…YOU pulled the trigger.
Keep coming back…you can get it if you want it bad enough.

Comment by K on 2008-05-13 01:48:29 -0700 #

A woman who’s like a sister to me just got a mastectomy and then proceeded onward with months of chemo and radiation. Do you know what painkiller she was prescribed after half her chest was hacked off? Fracking Vicodin! I mean, all I did was get my wisdom teeth out, and they still gave me Percocet!
It’s because of drug-seeking behavior that’s been described here that everyone gets confused about which populations are becoming addicted. So the surgeons who perform mastectomies are afraid to prescribe too many narcs, so they leave their cancer patients with the weakest thing they can find besides a T-3. And yet it’s not the cancer patients who are fiending so badly for whatever pills they can get their hands on, no matter what it takes or how much they humiliate themselves or their family… cancer patients can develop TOLERANCE, which is a legitimate medical reason for higher dosages of stronger meds. And tolerance is different than ADDICTION/DEPENDENCE. Some cancer patients will be receiving enough opiates to kill a normal person through their PCA’s every day, and it still won’t completely stop the hurting. But it’s a totally different situation with recreational users and junkies, because they had the choice to take their medicine as prescribed, if that was how it started. But instead they ate the whole bottle in five minutes and then start making the rounds to see how they can get more, because *they’ve* made the choice to tempt your body with more drugs than it needed. Of course it will want more. And more and more. And I just can’t believe my girl got Vicodin after the mastectomy, and every day I fill endless amounts of Oxycontin, MSIR, suboxone, etc… for people who look like they’re just fine and hoping for a fun night, or for people who look like twitchy junkies. It’s not fair. If you guys really want all those narcs so badly, you might as well just go ahead and jump into a burning building or get into a car crash that leaves you with your ribs sticking through your lungs. Then you’ll get a chance to compare the agony of not being able to refill your Norco quickly enough, to the agony of 3rd degree burns that still feel like fire despite your morphine drip – or, like in the case of my friend, you’ll have major surgery and get a handful of Vicodin (which you’re obviously way beyond, injury or not), and you’ll be so sad when that’s all you get and that doesn’t do anything…

Comment by jeff on 2008-06-17 09:20:08 -0700 #

I have a story that will probably warm the cockles of your heart. A friend of mine is a pharmacist out west and had an obvious addict come in with an obviously forged script. The script was for oxycontin (what else?) He proceeded to fill the prescription substituting tic tacs for the oxys. He gave said addict the prescription ( having called the police in the interim ) He mentioned that there may be a problem and the addict ran out the door and to the back of the store where he had parked between two parked semi trailers. ( not a bright move!) The police arrived and blocked his car in. The gentleman then proceeded to open the bottle of ‘oxys’ and was going to eat them all. My buddy told me that they heard him screaming–“fucking tic tacs! fucking tic tacs! I can’t believe he did this to me!” He was later sentenced to 5 years in prison. When my buddy told me the story I almost pissed myself laughing! I guess even pharmacy can be entertaining sometimes.

Comment by Jen on 2008-07-09 19:11:12 -0700 #

“I guess even pharmacy can be entertaining sometimes.”
No they can’t, they’re pathetic. Even more pathetic than drug-seekers.
The posts on this thread make the occupation of pharmacist look terrible.
THEY are the whiners and cry-babies, not the people who the drugs are prescribed to.
They think they look clever in a ‘ooooh gotcha’ way, but they just come across as sad bastards with no lives other than getting their rocks off by some mis-placed idea of importance.
the angry pharmacist indeed. sad sad sad.

Comment by Jason Weedman on 2008-12-18 10:14:24 -0800 #

Please pharmacists don’t think this is the addicts overall point of view because its not that asshole makes all addicts look even worse then they already look. I’m a recovering addict Ive got almost a year and I’d have to say that that guy isn’t even really clean hes still taking his drug of choice which is really not smart hes going to end up with his old habbits again I know it. The true fact of the matter is its soley the addicts fault and no one else because I know in my case I took opiates because I wanted to feel good and get high not because my doc pushed them on me or not because I have emotional problems or any cookie cutter answer like that. You need to wake up dude your a junkie because you chose to be one take responsibility man your making us all look real bad.

Comment by silly on 2010-01-10 21:51:07 -0800 #

did you not read the post… he said he wasn’t talking to you. He said I’m talking to addicts unless you consider yourself an addict… shut up

Comment by Joanie on 2011-07-13 13:35:49 -0700 #

Hey TAP, I agree with you completely, I have one of those “give then narcotics and get them out” docs (who I promptly “fired” and switched to a doctor who listens). When I told him a wanted the prescription strength ibuprofen instead of Vicodin (which makes me puke) he gave me cow eyes for about 30 seconds before writing the prescription. I think I was the first non-crackhead he’d seen all day…

Comment by Chuck on 2011-12-27 10:41:46 -0800 #

I think phamacists need to stop nip shitting in patients business. You dont know the story of the patient. I served in the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan for 1 year. When I was overseas on a convoy, an IED exploded and shrapnel ripped through my left wrist, severing all the tendons in that hand. They reattached the hand and it is extremely painful all of the time. Now Im back in the states, Im 23 and out of the military. I am prescribed 90 norco 7.5/325 a month. You should see the pharmacists whe I go and get my script filled. I can feel the judgement. They have no clue what I have been through, and why I need these meds. They just judge. I was told by a pharmacists one time that I should be ashamed of myself. Fuck that. Put the medicine in the bag, fucker. Your not my doctor.

Comment by Stephanie on 2012-03-25 16:09:12 -0700 #

k, the pharmacist needs to calm his/her shit, addiction, if you learned anything in university IS a condition, which i learned in 3rd level biology from high school(im graduating high school this year). it is not the addict talking, its the drugs, do you honestly think the addict gets started by thinking ‘hmmm I think ill get addicted to morphine now, i think ill go BS some doctors and pharmacists to get some more’?honestly some people start because the have been in a huge accident or surgery and the pain meds is what is prescribed by the doctor and its the only thing that gives them relif, or a moment without pain, and by the time theyve healed, they dont know how to stop. and no before you ask, i am not an addict, nor have i ever been one. no i am not a doctor or a pharmacist, i am giving an unbiased point of view

Comment by Jenny on 2012-06-30 11:59:33 -0700 #

I know this thread is old and (being an actual addict/alcoholic IN RECOVERY for nearly four years) am probably not really the type of person you commenters like hearing from,but I couldn’t help myself on this one. First, this woman IS NOT in recovery. Taking 20 (or even 1) Vicodin a month does not make for a RECOVERING addict. I nearly boiled my damn foot off a couple years ago yet the thought of taking even Tramadol scared the shit out of me. Hell, I even didn’t even start my REAL sobriety date until after I got off Suboxone. You see, we drunks/dope fiends in recovery have a healthy fear of chemicals, we recoil from them as though they are a hot flame. She’s full of shit and trying to bullshit everyone else (and doing a terrible job, no less). The 12 step programs do not promote blaming anyone other than the user him/herself. Even if TAP did have an agenda and chopped up her letter to make it more interesting, there’s no reason for her to use the sentences “I blame everyone for this. Its not 100% the addicts fault”. Bullshit, it was 110% my fault I lied, cheated, stole and was a menace to myself, family and society and most other addicts IN RECOVERY will tell you the same thing. To the nurse who’s family member called and apologized: we don’t make amends that way. We don’t blame anyone or make excuses. We don’t have a “support person” with us. We apologize and ask if there’s any way to make it better. That family member had a terrible sponsor and needs to look into getting a new one. Not that it really matters what people think, but 12 step programs do work, for people that are willing to actually do the work. They saved my life. Looking at me today, you would be amazed at the nightmare I was only four years ago. Just know this is not the way a person working a program thinks/behaves. This poster is just plain in denial and will be in your pharmacy back up to her same ole tricks soon …

Comment by Jenny on 2012-06-30 12:03:19 -0700 #

I forgot to add, my first sponsor was quick to tell me, “everything after ‘but’ is bullshit”. That’s what I tell my girls, too.

Comment by MaxBasin on 2014-04-15 16:47:55 -0700 #

Reminds me of my fat, douchebag roommate who can’t seem to survive with (at least) 150 mg of methadone a day, 10 vicodin for breakthrough pain and 6 mg of klonopin. Of course, this only lasts for about 12 days before he runs out of his meds and is crying, wining, pissing and moaning about how cruel life is. Sucks the system dry, will agree to an operation just to get stronger opioids, smokes 3 packs a day and could talk the arm off a statue. Why am I stuck living with him? I have Dysautonomia and can’t afford anything better right now. If that isn’t bad enough, I get a tiny amount of klonopin .5 mg a day and a few pain pills a month to get by, which is fine, anything more makes me sick. This guy was put on the restricted recipient program in my state, which means he’s just a fat, disgusting (drug addicted) scumbag who doctor shops, ED hops and bounces his fat body down the freeway from pharmacy to pharmacy. If I had one wish, it would be for The Angry Pharmacist to pay him a visit. He spends 40 percent of his time bashing pharmacists and doctors. I showed him this blog just to piss him off, epic, he’s threatened by you! hah hah Keep it up dude, I love ya…