Sunday, January 30, 2011

Drug Addicts Work On US!

I recently posted about drug impaired medical workers. Upon pondering this further and looking at some data, I am adding yet another reason why we patients are having trouble getting our practitioners to follow simple instructions. Instructions that anybody over the age of 2 years (terrible two's) can follow. The word "NO" seems to have as much effect on the people pushing Versed as it does on an infant! My contention is that drugs may be exerting an effect on our medical people.

Before you go ballistic, there are many many sources for this information, I am not pulling this out of my hat!

I have read that the problem of drug addiction for medical workers, in particular those who work in anesthesia, is about the same as the general pop. That's very interesting as 10% to 20% of the population is addicted to drugs, excluding alcohol, I believe. So, ONLY 10% to 20% of anesthetists are ADDICTED TO DRUGS! That's one in ten people who are responsible for your life and brain function, minimum... That could mean that one in FIVE medical workers is impaired by drug use. This is supposed to be acceptable?

A couple of things about this. The 10% to 20% is probably a number picked out of the air as there is no random drug testing, no pre-employment drug screen that I'm aware of, no "incident" drug testing etc. Also of note is the CYA mentality of our anesthetists as shown on this blog and elsewhere on the internet. They will admit to no wrongdoing, admit no errors of judgement, admit no REALITY to interfere with their opinion of themselves... Everybody else is wrong and they are perfect. So more than likely they would never admit to drug addiction or admit that this drug addiction could impair them.

Then there is the issue of availability. A hospital would be every drug addicts dream job. The drugs contained within medical walls are of a purity that street addicts long for. Clean sharp needles and an unlimited supply of highest quality drugs... Add to that the esteem in which anesthetists are held by most others (not me!) and the ease with which they can obtain these chemicals creates another problem for anesthetists, doesn't it? They have complete, total access to FREE pure drugs and the means to use them. They are above reproach, and there is no monitoring in place for drug use. So maybe, even if this person would never have become a drug addict on the outside due to cost concerns and all the rest, they can easily become a drug addict in a medical setting.

Every day I hear that legalizing drugs, making them cheaper and more easily available, and supplying addicts with clean needles would encourage drug addiction. Access equals addiction. So if this statement is true, then the people most at risk are people involved with anesthesia, pain management if you will. This is a logical thought progression. So that phony 10% to 20% COULD be MUCH HIGHER! So what is the true rate of addiction in CRNA's, MDA's and AA's, etc? Is it closer to 30%? 40%? In other words is it one in four? One in three?

The excuses I am hearing about medical personnel addiction problems are the same ones that all addicts use. Stress is at the top of the list. However anesthesia CHOSE that profession! The absurd amount of money to be extracted from a helpless patient is worth the stress right? What makes them think that their job is any more stressful than mine? It isn't. They don't have to worry about paying the bills like I do either, so please spare us all the whining about stress. Stress is no excuse for subjecting trusting patients to a drug addicted provider. We all have stress, family problems, and all the rest. Most of us have resisted the idea of becoming a drug addict, even if those drugs are prescribed by medical personnel. So don't bother to go there...

So now when I think about why anesthesia workers are so sanguine about injecting brain melting DRUGS into unsuspecting patients, I am thinking about this addiction problem too! If they are already using drugs themselves, like them, and believe that they are self medicating for stress, then they would be less inclined to believe that the patient doesn't need or want drugs. Especially something as inherently evil as Versed/Midazolam. If these people are already breaking all kinds of laws to enable their addiction, then of course they would have no problem breaking informed consent laws would they? This drug addiction would lead to a lack of respect for the law, just like any other drug addict has. Hookers, thieves, home invasion robbers etc. almost all of whom have an addiction to feed, all of whom have contempt for the law are examples of what substance abuse can lead to, albeit extreme examples!

The only reason to refuse to embrace pre-employment drug screening, random drug testing, and "incident" drug testing by medical people is because they KNOW that this would cause problems for themselves or their medical brethren. There is no excuse for not implementing this type of program immediately if not sooner. If it's good enough for air traffic controllers and truck drivers, among others, then it's a good idea for those people whom we trust with our lives (just like the above) and who have unlimited access to drugs. (Just so medical people don't feel that I am only picking on them, I believe that police should be subjected to drug testing as well. They too are in a position of authority and trust, and have access to drugs. They also have lethal weapons and are responsible for public "safety" just like medical personnel.)

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