Keith pointed out the continuing bad news on the opiate front. At this point I think we’re all clear on what happened; doctors were persuaded that they were cruelly failing to treat pain with drugs that the pharmaceutical industry assured us were safe, many became addicted to their own prescriptions and many others were introduced to opiate euphoria via diverted prescription medication. Heroin prices dropped and to someone already addicted to pills, crossing that bridge to heroin is a foregone conclusion. So now we have to approach it like an epidemic, which means treating the existing addicts and extinguishing new cases.Â It’s complicated, a “hot mess” as the kids say. But there is one thing that each and every one of us can do, right now. If you don’t have any dangerous prescription medication in your house, good for you, but chances are you’ll need a few Vicodin at some point. So get one of these. If you can use a screwdriver, you’ll be able to install it yourself. A staggering number of heroin addicts got started with prescription opiates swiped from someone’s medicine cabinet. Smart doctors now tell patients to treat their addictive medication like cash; it should never be kept in a bathroom medicine cabinet since people go there alone and lock the door. Legislators and doctors will have to do most of the heavy lifting to solve the greater problem, but this is one thing we should all do, if for no other reason than to remind ourselves that an innocuous-looking orange bottle should be afforded the same precautions we would take with a toxic herbicide.
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