Unless you’re practically dying, you can’t get a Tylenol 3 to save your life, literally, in BC anymore. That’s entirely because BC is going and has been going through, an opioid epidemic for the last ten to twelve years. I know this because I used to work at a church filled with people who lived with all spectrums of addiction to drugs and alcohol.
I’m all for opioid reform, but having lived through too many screams filled nights due to pain, and the trauma that comes with my own screams at how much pain I’ve been in, I am starting to see things yet again, from a different angle and so I decided to work out what I’m thinking here on the blog.
Yes, we need to make sure people aren’t being addicted to painkillers, but we also need to make sure that people aren’t living in pain every day, so how do we do that without regulating the drugs? Safe supply is for drugs like heroin, crack, meth, no one talks about safe opioid use, because we’ve gone from “well it’s okay if you’re in pain,” to “let’s never prescribe them again.”
So for me, I’m running out of Tylenol and I’m not likely to get another prescription any time soon, because Doctors are constantly afraid that people like myself, living in pain, are addicted to drugs, no motherfucker, what we’re addicted to, is not being in pain.
I like it. I have lived through enough nights filled with the sound of my own screams to know that I much prefer NOT being in pain. I’m in love with not being in pain, with the heady buzzed feeling that comes from feeling just slightly stoned on a cocktail of coffee and Tylenol 3.
But not enough to want to feel like this every day. I much prefer sobriety on all levels personally, because I’m much more functioning when I haven’t had to reach into my bag of tricks to cease and desist the pain I live with due to bad body issues.
I have a bad back, I have a sore tooth that needs to be removed, I have some things you know? And while I do not want to become addicted, I would like proper medical and dental care so that I don’t have to be afraid of going to the fucking dentist. I’d like to not have to worry about going from one doctor to another because one is trying to offer me fentanyl and the other is not giving me anything at all.
These can’t be the only extremes: “Take fentanyl, or take nothing,” cannot be the scale upon which we serve people who need help from our Doctors. I’m not even talking about alternative medicine, because let’s be honest, pharmaceuticals work, and they work well, and I’ll take them if I fucking have to because I am just stubborn enough to not want to be in pain.
“The problem is that patient’s lie,” I hate to be the one to break it to you, but so do Doctors. Doctors in BC were getting paid big dollars to hand out drugs like candy, and when they got caught, it was the patients who paid the price because the price means that the doctors can’t hand out the medication, but they’ve already contributed to the crisis that forced people into addiction, so where do we draw the line…and more importantly how?
Yes, we need regulation, but we also need to admit that a great deal of the reason that so many people return to addiction over and over again is that let’s be honest…it’s just fucking easier than being in pain.
Yes, I said that. I was raised by a man who dealt with addiction issues, I lived with a man who had addiction issues, and I worked with people for 18 years who had issues with addiction, I know what I am talking about when I tell you that being a drug user is a lot easier than fighting the addiction. I’ve seen it too many times to believe otherwise.
Knowing that what I know that our society needs is better programming for people who have addiction issues. The problem with emotional and spiritual pain is that it often comes out in physical ways, and so we take these drugs hoping they’ll make the pain go away, but the manifestation of emotional and spiritual pain won’t allow escape from the pain until we deal with the reasons that we’re in pain, to begin with.
The reality is that with weight gain comes back pain, leg pain, and shoulder aches, the reality is that hurting yourself at work, and then the depression from not being able to earn your own adds to the physical pain you’re feeling and on and on the cycles go.
Not everyone can afford physiotherapy treatments, and the people who need them the most turn towards painkillers because painkillers kill the pain, and on and on the cycle goes.
The problem isn’t regulation, it’s sweeping regulation that acts like Doctors and pharma companies didn’t cause this problem. I’m in pain every single day due to bad dental care, but the fact that I can’t get the care I need at an affordable price means that I am taking T3 when I ordinarily would just smoke a joint or take an Advil.
Because of crimes that I didn’t commit, that too many people got away with. Figures.
Sending all my love to those suffering,
Devon J Hall
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