I have always been moderately active throughout my life and, have been fortunate enough to say that the only physical discomforts I have suffered from are minor muscle aches from over exerting myself. These minor aches and pains never hindered my abilities to go to work, take care of my kids and go about my daily routine: they merely caused me a few days of discomfort which I stoically endured – or so I thought. About a month ago I wrenched my lower back executing one of my yoga poses, I would like to stay for the record that I have done this twist pose a thousand times but this time was different. When I stood up I felt a sharp shooting pain starting in my lower back and radiating down both legs and through to the ends of my toes. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. As the day progressed my pain worsened and my overall mobility was impaired, this unbearable pain lasted no less than ten days, and for those ten days I was not myself. I was dependant on my husband and my children to perform the simplest tasks like putting on my shoes, and helping me get in and out of bed. During the first few days of my injury I took muscle relaxants and, upon the advise of an athletic massage therapist, I performed hip mobility exercises to strengthen and lengthen my muscles (as we age, our mobility diminishes leading to muscle strain and injury), eventually the pain receded and today I enjoy full range of motion.
When I look back upon those ten days I ask myself what I would have done if the pain hadn’t gone away?
While I was convalescing I happened upon an article which caught my attention, it read DISGRACED: I was a young ER Doctor with a perfect life. Unfortunately, in my line of work I have read stories that begin with I was a young (insert occupation here) with a perfect life… our founder Taki Liris has a very similar story, however I had yet to read one that was related to fentanyl abuse. I read on and the piece proceeded quite predictably, Darryl Gebien, can trace his predisposition to opioid addiction back to when he was a year old and was admitted to hospital for hiatus hernia. Gebien goes on to say that a series of injuries coupled with his inability to deal with stress resulted in a full blown opioid addiction. Eventually Gebien he was caught forging prescriptions for fentanyl, and is now in the throws of dealing with his addiction, a failing marriage, and the loss of his medical license.
In 2015 the alarming spike in deaths from fentanyl overdose caused Canada to declare a public health crisis, and even now in 2017 it continues to kill. In 2016 the province of British Columbia was reporting an average of 2 fatal fentanyl overdoses a day. This number is truly alarming, especially when Gebien claims that doctors over prescribing pain killers is largely to blame. Is the solution a more comprehensive diagnosis? Training physicians to determine a patients pre disposition to addiction perhaps? Should we be teaching people to be more self aware? Would being more self aware of your predispositions prevent you from becoming addicted?
We would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, and if you would like to read more of Darryl Gebien story go to http://torontolife.com/city/crime/doctor-perfect-life-got-hooked-fentanyl/