Vicodin! Oh, my poor wee bairns.
Credit: A Guru’s Lament
First things first. I hate drugs*.
*Per the Drug Subsistence Manual (DSM) III: A definition of “drug” that excepts caffeine and alcohol.
As I was saying, I hate drugs. I almost never take them. Present company of alcohol and caffeine excepted, of course. I have to be in some dire straits to even consider it and, even then, I generally take less than the recommended dosage.
I don’t like ibuprofen and I don’t like Tylenol. I even eschew aspirin. My wife knows a lot about prescription medications she’ll often respond to my whining by saying something like, “Take four of these horse-sized pills.” I’ll usually only take one or two.
Topping my list of things I hate is nicotine and marijuana. Gross and pointless. I understand life is hard. My advice? Eat it. (Life, I mean.) If you’re not going to live in the reality of the here and now, why bother? What’s the point?
I do admit, though, that Walter White’s “blue ice” looks tempting. I wouldn’t mind taking some of that fictionalized meth for a spin. Just one time.
When the dentist builds a cell phone tower in my mouth, he used to prescribe a pitiful dosage of weak-assed Vicodin pills. I’d literally grit my teeth and suffer through the pain just so I could save those suckers for a rainy day.
Why? Because, why I really am in pain I want relief. And none of that totally fake OTC placebo bullshit, either. I feel I’m entitled. I’ve earned it. I don’t abuse my drugs.
So what happens? When it’s my turn to belly up to the pain trough, society tells me to eat it. Nice.
The United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970 defines something known as “Schedule II drugs.” Why does the government always obfuscate things to the Nth degree. Why don’t they come up with a color-coded pictograph like they did for terrorism? You know, keep it simple. “Holy shit. Vicodin is red. What’s that mean? Let me check the chart. Oh, just that it will consume your unborn. Gulp! Mmm, mmm, good!”
Schedule II includes drugs that serve a legitimate medical purpose, have a “high potential for abuse,” and can lead to “severe” physical or psychological dependence.
A good chunk of medications on the list are defined as opiates, like my old pal, Vicodin. (Which is just a brand name for hydrocodone.) Opiates basically come from opium, which, as we all know, is the dried latex from the opium poppy.
I like to imagine perhaps tens of thousands of years ago there was a dude in a hut. Nearby happened to be a field of opium poppies. (It could happen.) Through luck, he discovered how to use the plant to lessen pain. There were no doctors running around with their fancy prescription pads charging $190 for three-minute visits, so what did our ancient friend do? He took some when he felt pain.
Back then it was a schedule do-whatever-you-want drug since there was no fancy government around, either.
I have to wonder: Was that really so bad for him? Did he end up escalating his consumption to the point of 24/7 and death? Did he control it? I’m not so sure.
What I do know is that he got to use it when he wanted. Something denied to me, your average modern day human.
Now when I go to the dentist and he builds a cell phone tower in my mouth, he no longer issues prescriptions for Vicodin, or anything else, for that matter. He’s apparently too scared. If I demand answers he’ll mumble something about OTC crap and then awkwardly disappear.
The FDA recently announced that hydrocodone products, like Vicodin, will be moved from Schedule III where they are harder than hell for the law-abiding citizen to get to Schedule II where the only way to get your hands on them will be to do a cavity search on your doctor.
Bottom line: Addictive assholes who pop illegal drugs like Pez dispensers will still have plenty. And, when I’m finally forced to turn to modern medicine in extreme pain, they’ll have nothing for me and tell me to go french kiss a leech or something. “Sorry, Oliver. No gruel for you.”
Once again other fuckups, the “bad apples” in life, have ruined it for everyone else. “… the FDA has become increasingly concerned about the abuse and misuse of opioid products, which have sadly reached epidemic proportions in certain parts of the United States.”