Thursday, February 10, 2011

Prescription Drug Abuse

One of the things hospital security gets to deal with is prescription drug abuse. Whether it's someone altering scripts at our pharmacy or throwing a tantrum in the ED because the doc won't give them a script, it's a regular ordeal. We work with law enforcement on many of these issues and plenty of people go on to get prosecuted.

I've been thinking about it lately, though, and earlier today I asked myself, "What benefit does prosecuting and locking up prescription drug abusers provide society?" Seriously. I want to know what benefit I'm getting out of my tax dollars being spent this way because I'm struggling to come up with anything. If someone gets high and drives, causing a wreck, we have laws for that. If someone gets high and neglects or abuses their kids, we have laws for that.

So, why exactly do we care if someone want to sit at home and pop a bunch of Hydrocodone? I don't endorse it, but, frankly if someone wants to make that choice I'm not sure why tax dollars should be spent to stop it. Why can't doctors and pharmacists and local support groups and families handle this? Victimless crimes like this seem to me to be a poor thing for the government to regulate and enforce. We have laws in place to deal with it if other people are harmed, so that seems to me to be more than adequate. Certainly bad things happen now when they are illegal so I don't see how keeping them illegal makes things any better.

1 comment:

Tsar Clef Hue John said...

As the comedian Bill Hicks said "Drug abusers are not criminals in my minds eye. At worst, they are just sick, and I know of no jail that has ever healed anyone."