A single candle

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.  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.

Author: Lowry Heussler

Lowry Heussler is a lawyer from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Having participated in the RBC as a guest-blogger, she made it official in 2012. Her most important contribution to the field of public policy to date was her 1994 instruction to Mark Kleiman, "Read Ann Landers every day. You need to learn about real people." Her essay on the 2009 arrest of Henry Louis Gates went viral and brought about one of her proudest moments, being described as "just another twit along the lines of Sharpton, Jackson, Gates, etc." (Small Dead Animals Blog). Currently serving as General Counsel to BOTEC Analysis Corp., she has been a public housing lawyer, a prosecutor for the Board of Registration in Medicine, a large-firm associate and a small-firm partner. She serves as a board member for NEADS, Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans, a charity that trains service dogs to increase independence for people with disabilities.

6 thoughts on “A single candle”

  1. I have leftover pain medication from surgery some years back. They went into a safe as soon as I stopped needing them for daily use. While not as immediately dangerous as the firearm that was the cause of my purchasing a safe it was clearly the right way to store them.

    I have a question: Medication disposal bins at my doctor's office and at pharmacies both state that narcotics are not allowed. I hesitate to flush them as well. How should out dated narcotics be properly disposed of?

  2. And for the less flush amongst us… I thought we weren't supposed to keep our stash, oops I mean our meds, in the bathroom anyway? Too hot and steamy? Can't I just hide them somewhere?

    I don't have any of this stuff, btw, yet… so I am just curious.

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