I work as the Office Manager for a General Practitioner. I see patients come and go every day. I have seen addiction grow before my very eyes. We have had patients that have been on prescription pain medications that later turn to hard narcotics like Heroin and Cocaine. I have seen them run off to the rehab for help, only to return again and again in trouble until we discharge them as patients.
But this time it was different. We have a patient I will call RJ to protect his privacy and my legal backside. He came to us at age 17-18 with a very bad anxiety and attention problem. He was failing in school and life. He was on Ritalin as a child and taken off by his pediatrician when he "aged out" as most do. We treated RJ with a regimin of Xanax and Ritalin.
RJ's life turned around. He could now concentrate in school and continued on to college. He was calm in his life and didn't make irrational decisions anymore. He followed his Xanax regimen faithfully, never abusing his medication. Things were good for years. Years. He had dreams of joining the Air Force and starting a whole new life.
Until now. He recently lost his drivers license and was denied entry into the Air Force (probably due to his poor eyesight.) He spiraled into filling multiple prescriptions for Xanax at multiple pharmacies. Until the pharmacies caught on to what he was doing, and called us. Which ended the prescriptions. And the trust of our Doctor and our staff. We had to discharge him as a patient.
The grief I feel for this young man's future is great. The disappointment as to what he has become is even greater.
But as I see every day, even the strongest person can be weak when it comes to facing adversity and they turn to medication for relief. I myself have used Xanax and I know how easy it would be to start using it regularly to shield myself from the stress. I have done it myself in the past, but I have had to stop myself before it got too far. Because it is a downward slope.
I hope his young man finds the strength again to straighten his life out, because a life of addiction is no life at all.