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Before You Judge, Here's the Thing About Prince's Death

Before you go around making an assumption that Prince was a drug addict, allow me to enlighten you about the growing problem of narcotic medications being used to treat chronic illness. First of all, I (nor you), do not know the facts surrounding his death, but it would seem that he passed away from an overdose of subscription opioid pain medications, and he was taking these medications due to chronic pain. 

Chronic pain is a problem that many people face. As a nurse, I have had many patients that have had ongoing chronic pain, meaning they are in pain ALL THE TIME. It gets to the point that you have to take higher doses and more potent pain medications because you build a tolerance. Then you become addicted. This can happen to anyone. It can happen to you, your doctor, your child, the wealthy, the educated, the famous… 

Let me spell it out for you: You get in a car accident and end up with an injury that results in chronic pain. The Doctor prescribes you narcotic medications, starting with a low dose and less potent type. Your pain continues and the dose and type of narcotic increases. You take more than what is prescribed because you would do anything to relieve the pain. This cycle continues. You become desperate and are now addicted. You either eventually get the help you need or you die from an overdose. You did not overdose because you think it is super fun to take narcotics. You overdose because you were in so much pain that you haven't slept for a day and would do anything for relief and to just feel normal again, so you take more pills than you should. 

I personally have worked with three nurses that fell victim to chronic pain narcotic addiction. One I had to fire. One quit before being fired as we were investigating missing medications that she stole. The other quit before being fired because she could not function as a nurse. Two of these nurses had already been through a treatment program. They all had a similar story that started with chronic pain and ended with their lives and careers ruined because they became addicted to chronic pain medications. 

I suspect that Prince took too much of his medication because he was trying to get rid of the pain. He was not a drug addict. He was doing the best that he could, to the best of his knowledge, to not be in pain. You may not understand what that is like, unless you have experienced pain that is severe and will not go away. There are worse things than death, and that is one of them. 

My point is that we should not judge and this should not lessen his great accomplishments. What happened to Prince, could happen to you. 

This is a nationwide problem that is not going away. The only solution that seems feasible is to use medical marijuana to treat pain. I'm not talking about someone sitting around "smoking a joint". I'm talking about taking marijuana in medicinal form to relieve pain because it is effective and does not have the highly addictive properties that narcotic prescription drugs have. If you have reservations about this because you think the person will be "getting high" and marijuana is used to "get high", I have a news flash for you. People use prescription narcotic medications to "get high" all the time. The difference is that marijuana will not kill you if you take too much. 

I've had reservations about making marijuana legal, but this narcotic addiction/overdose/death issue has become common place. Something has to change. It's not only about people dying. It is also about people suffering from unrelieved pain on a daily basis.

Lisa Karen

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Sunday, 25 February 2024
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