Monday, March 20, 2006

Addicted

As in "I don't want to get..."

Grown men and women, gloomy, unable to make eye contact, unable to think straight, not sleeping, suicidal some of them. But offer them pills that might actually make them better and it's "I don't want to get addicted!"

Asthmatics unable to climb a flight of stairs, coughing and gasping for ten minutes after any unaccustomed exertion, woken nightly by wheeze. "But I don't want to get dependent on an inhaler!"

Smokers with circulation poor enough they have gangrene so painful they can hardly walk, "Don't want pills that will kill the pain. I don't want to be an addict!"

Perhaps it's just been a bad day at the office, but I sometimes wonder what it is that my patients expect of me. Still I keep coming back for another dose, day after day.

Does that make me an addict?

4 comments:

her said...

Does that mean I can leave off my thyroxine in case I become dependant on it?

*Ducks and covers before Dr J completely blows his top*

Doctor Jest said...

dunno if this was intentional, but now we have to use "american" for drug names so that would be levothyroxine you'd be "leaving off", which adds up to quite a nifty pun there. Well played.

Today is a *better* day.

You can tell can't you.

Jayanne said...

Grown men and women, gloomy, unable to make eye contact, unable to think straight, not sleeping, suicidal some of them. But offer them pills that might actually make them better and it's "I don't want to get addicted!",

Antidepressants? Or anxiolytics/hypnotics? In my view many doctors are overly unwilling to prescribe the latter because they don't want the patient to get addicted... .

Doctor Jest said...

jayanne-- I was thinking antidepressants. The problem we have with anxiolytics / hypnotics is that they are genuinely addictive, and not a particularly good treatment for clinical depression. They make you feel "flat" rather than "better".

OK you can argue that SSRIs and Tricyclic antidepressants can both show withdrawal effects too, but nothing like so bad as Benzodiazepines, and at least they get the depression better.