October 14, 2011Pain Med Addiction Hurts Others
Dear Dr. Laura,
I love listening to your show and consider it a treat when I'm taking a long drive while you are on. Recently, I was enjoying your program when a caller, Kelly, came on the air. She was talking about her husband who was addicted to prescription pain medications and needed advice. You told her to leave him and go home to her mother. A flood of emotions hit me.
The reason I was in the car that day was because I was traveling to see a doctor to begin a painful process of having scars removed from my face. The irony here is that day was also my youngest son's birthday. However, instead of running to the school with a box of cupcakes for his classmates, I was driving to another doctor's appointment. You see, back in March, while on vacation, my family was hit head-on by a man addicted to prescription pain meds. He killed himself, my husband and my youngest boy. This was his third car accident while driving under the influence.
The accident left me and my oldest son, 13, burned over 50% of our bodies. We were in separate hospitals for three months. We will endure a lifetime of painful procedures, scarred bodies and emptiness. Our lives are forever changed by the consequences of that man's actions.
My youngest son (who was killed in the accident) was only 10. I only got 10 birthdays, 10 Christmases, 10 First Days of School with him. It was not enough. My husband was a fantastic husband, loving father, and amazing man.
I would love it if you would spend a few minutes on air talking about the dangers of prescription drug addiction. This accident could have been prevented if this man would have chosen to get clean and be in rehab. People think the medications they receive from their doctor are safe. They often do not read the warning labels. It is my opinion in our litigious society, where there are silly warnings on everything, we don't pay attention to the warnings which do matter.
In my mind, this man was a murderer. It was so sad, however, to look at the picture his family put with his obituary. He looked like a great guy. The picture the newspaper ran after the accident was a mug shot from when he was arrested for driving under the influence. What a horrible, ugly man he became under the influence. I was told the night he got into that first accident, he had upwards of 11 different bottles of pain medications in the car with him. These were all legally prescribed and in his name.
People addicted to prescription pain medications should be in rehab. They should be treated just like someone who is addicted to crack, cocaine or alcohol. They need professional interventions. Your love alone won't make an addict "clean," but you can point them in the direction of professional help.
This has become my personal crusade. I want to make sure my son and husband did not die in vain.
Thank you for all that you do, Dr. Laura.
I was my husband's girlfriend and I am my kids' mom.
Posted by Staff at 3:00 PM