Addiction is a disease and can be treated. If you admit to being an addict all will eventually forgiven, people will hold your hand, your HR department and the State Board will offer you sympathy and assistance, rainbows will fly out of your posterior, and the State Board will be there riding pink unicorns along with the Charmin Bear to wipe your bum when you are finished excreting the addiction rainbow. On the other hand, there is no cure for stupid.
We learned about addiction in our second year of pharmacy school. It can present in many different ways but usually involves some sort of denial. Usually anyone close to the addict also suffers from denial but after the addict is exposed those around him or her can easily admit that the addiction was always there and was raging.
Any pharmacist who is not stuck on stupid can spot addiction or at the very least suspect it. This is especially true in cases of pharmacist/coworker addiction where the culprit is playing snatch and grab from his or her pharmacy.
Hospital pharmacists are especially observant as we get locked in small basement rooms with the same 4 -12 people every single day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year (minus PTO of course). We see these coworkers more than our families some weeks. It is hard to hide anything.
Thank God You’re Here. I’m Ready to be Wiped
In an interview with the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy I recently had the pleasure of attending, I was told by inspectors that the addict pharmacist is usually thrilled when the other shoe drops and the board shows up to intervene. The addict pharmacist is thrilled because someone has finally arrived to start treating his or her disease, and freely admits to his or her crimes. He or she loses the RPh license for a bit, but the treatment of the addict and the healing can begin.
Do not misunderstand me. I too have sympathy for a true addict. I have known at least one pharmacist addict in the past and his story of recovery is amazing to say the least. He faced many hardships but through prayer, programs, and assistance he is once again doing amazing work as a clinical pharmacist. I recently re-read his story as reported by the media, and encourage others to do so to see the true face of addiction.
What the state board told me is true. Addicts are so far gone and have hit rock bottom in their minds that when the board inspectors appear on their unicorns to intervene, a great weight is lifted.
Addicts, Addicts, Everywhere
I was urged by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy to admit to crimes I did not commit and to having a disease (addiction) of which I do not have. More than once they told me all would be well if I just admitted addiction to them.
They were encouraging me to lie!
They were encouraging me to what in my mind equates to a slap in the face to those who actually have true addictions.
How does it honor or give any justice to someone who actually has a disease by trying to force me to admit to having a disease I do not?
How is it even legal or in the scope of practice of a pharmacist and a former police office to repeatedly diagnose and tell me I’m an addict? The last time I checked only an MD or Nurse Practitioner specialized in addiction medicine can truly diagnose addiction.
How many other innocent people have taken the addict admission defense when urged to do so when in reality they were actually innocent but gave into the intense pressure?
You may not be an addict now but sit down and talk to your State Board of Pharmacy someday. They’ll try to convince you otherwise.
No Soup the Non-Addict
So what about the pharmacist who is falsely accused and denies everything? Apparently this is something that does not happen often. I like to break tradition and have never been a conformist. I just prefer fact to fiction.
I am NOT an addict. I did not admit to crimes (because I did not commit any crimes). I have a chronic, rare disease. Sure, it is not addiction, but it is still a chronic disease that is also recognized by the ADA as being disabling.
Unfortunately I don’t get my hand held nor my butt wiped by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. Instead I get left out on the cold with no info, with a scarlet T (for theft) on my discharge record, and with a status of unemployable. Instead of rainbows and the Charmin Bear I get toxic waste, fine grit sandpaper and some bandaides.
Wishing for Addiction
There is not a day that goes by where I do not wish I was an addict and that I had done these things. At least then I could have admitted it, gotten lots of help and support, and moved on with life. Even my HR department told me had I admitted to theft and admitted to them I had an addiction problem I would have been given help and my job would have been protected. Instead I sit here writing a blog, unemployed, and about to lose my house.
What the bloody hell is that about?
I get punished for being honest, telling the truth, doing my job, refusing to lie about a disease I don’t have, and not admitting to crimes I did not commit. My own carelessness may have enabled others to steal stuff; however, does that make me a thief?
It makes me stupid. And as I already pointed out, there is no cure for stupid.