October 12, 2003

"It Can Happen To Us"

The following is an excerpt from "Buchanan & Press":

BUCHANAN: Matt, my inclination is to think if the folks are playing that Kerry bite when you hear this news about Rush Limbaugh it's going to come off as pretty cruel rather than funny. But let me ask you something. Now, six years ago apparently he's been this addiction a long time and we've heard from variety of sources that these OxyContins are associated with hearing loss. And my question is this, you know Rush if -- if something like this is actively and he must have known he must have talked to his doctor when he went to him about his hearing. He must have known these things were damaging his hearing his whole career his the king of talk radio, everything is on the line it suggests a really hellish addiction here does it not?

DRUDGE: You're hitting bull's-eyes, Pat. This is why these things are prescribed by doctors and not sold at our local Dennys or Amocos -- or wherever else we can buy them, in Palm Beach. It is a disturbing story in all directions, because, again, it is happening to such a beloved figure in this country Someone who has had so much success in this country. And if it happens to them, it can happen to us!

Put aside what you think of Rush for this one, because this isn't really about Rush. This is about something I'm not sure the average American has thought much about. I think about it because I know people who suffer this addiction and because Nin works in a pharmacy and sees this every single day. The abuse of prescription pain pills is a real problem. Sometimes, people use subterfuge to maintain their habit -- they go to multiple doctors, get multiple prescriptions and use different pharmacies to fill those prescriptions. And other people have their habit maintained with the complicity of their doctor. And now you can toss in people mail ordering the pills from foreign countries. If we can't stop the flow of illegal drugs into this country, how on earth will we ever be able to solve this problem?

And while I'm sure their are people who are addicted to these medications that are no longer suffering from the original pain the pills were prescribed for, many more who are addicted are still in pain. And that pain will still be there when they stop taking the pills. I've watched my mother battle chronic pain since the seventies, when a surgeon slipped and cut a nerve in her spine during back surgery. Then not long after that, we were in a car accident which crushed vertebrae in her neck. But she's one of those people Rush spoke about on Friday, the ones who didn't fall prey to addiction. But when I see her year after year, in constant pain, sometimes I wish she would take medication. It's hard watching someone you love suffer and you can't do anything to help. I also know, but for the grace of God, how she could have had Rush's problem.

No, what happened to Rush hits way too close to home for me, and I can't and won't judge him, or anyone else that battles addiction and pain on a daily basis.

Posted by Ithildin at October 12, 2003 12:44 PM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE