Thoughts on Heather

I have received a couple of questions about the circumstances of Heather's death.

Heather was a military wife, and had a back injury. Since she and her husband lived on the base, the base hospital was more than happy to hand out opioids like candy. Over the course of the next couple of years, she became more and more addicted to pain medication, all under the supervision of the military hospital doctors. Finally, as a result of the many problems she was facing due to her prescription pill addiction, she just couldn't cope any longer.

As a massage therapist, I have had clients with many pain issues. I have been forced to confront my anger and disgust with prescription drug addiction. I reserve most of my anger for "pain management" that essentially is an insurance-backed drug dealer. People suffer injuries, stress, and chronic conditions.

I wholeheartedly endorse having medication available for those who need it. What I hate, though, is that it is dispensed with no long-term treatment plan. I know people that wear pain patches for years and there is no plan to wean them off of the medication, use physical therapy, surgeries, or massage therapy. Pain medication MUST be a PART of a treatment plan - NEVER a long-term solution.

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