The Real HR Show: The Heroin Snorting Professor

by Evil HR Lady on February 22, 2021

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

LavaLamp February 23, 2021 at 5:23 pm

I feel like I need to push back on this video just a bit and remind that sometimes people take drugs that they need, that are prescribed (marijuana can be prescribed, and can you discriminate against a medical user?) But not just on that, on the attitude.

I take Tramadol (pretty heavy painkiller) and probably will for the rest of my life due to medical issues. A lot of these so called ‘drug free’ work places try to kick folks like me out on disability leave thinking that we can’t function on these drugs. I can understand for some jobs (airplane pilot etc) you can’t do that job and take heavy meds, but a large number of jobs are in offices where there aren’t a pile of safety risks. Folks like me aren’t bad. We aren’t addicts or criminals and lumping us into that column can lead to discrimination, and can also hurt people who genuinely are ill and aren’t causing any problems. I see this attitude a lot and it makes me tired. There needs to be some thought put into drug free policies that aren’t for jobs where it’s truly necessary ( i know I’ll never get to be a 911 dispatcher or an airplane pilot) that doesn’t inadvertently lump people with medical accommodations and conditions into a category we don’t belong.

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Evil HR Lady February 23, 2021 at 5:48 pm

You will never see me talking about people in pain as drug addicts. There are tremendous problems with politicians equating all pain with drug seeking behavior. People in pain deserve medication.

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LavaLamp February 23, 2021 at 7:44 pm

Thank you for that. Can I ask why so many drug free workplaces try to kick folks like me out on medical leave when/if they find out about the medication I take? It happens a lot in my experience in office jobs where there isn’t any impact. I’ve seen it, and I find it ridiculous. Sure it’s probably legal, but I feel it goes against the spirit of the policy.

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Sara Batchelder February 23, 2021 at 8:56 pm

HI both of you. Suzanne – the problem is that people in pain ARE being called drug addicts and certainly are being treated as such by our government, media, doctors and community. This has been going on for years, and no one cares. I absolutely LOVE the work Dr. Hart is doing and has been doing for years. The way we look at drugs in our government is so wrong and more importantly, it doesn’t work. Prescriptions peaked in 2012 because Purdue came out with an “abuse deterrent” version of oxycodone. All of the addicts ditched their docs and went to the streets. Since illicit fentanyl was making its way into every illicit drug, people started dying in droves (fentanyl is something like 50x as strong as heroin). The Chinese and Mexican drug cartels started pressing fentanyl into look-alike pills. Late to the parts as usual, the Feds cracked down on prescriptions in 2016, four years too late. The medical community was working itself out. We have NO idea if people reporting ODs due to prescription pills got their pills illegally and/or if these pills were counterfeit. I have not read one article of a person ODing who wasn’t already exhibiting addictive qualities. If the DEA had been going after the correct epidemic (illicit heroin and fentanyl), they may have saved lives. Now they are putting doctors in jail who help pain patients when no on else will; by giving them opioids. Doctors are TERRIFIED to prescribe. I know multiple docs who completely closed down their pain clinics, leaving all pain patents without care whether they need opioids are not. The proof that this approach doesn’t work is that heroin and fentanyl ODs have soared, while ODs due to prescription meds have stayed steady. All ODs have gone up since the 70’s. It has nothing to do with individual substances. Alcohol and cigarettes kill 6x the amount of people than all kinds of opioids combined. We’ve been sold a myth. We need to get the word out that pain patients are killing themselves due to under treatment and abandonment. I’m sorry that I’m writing this crazy rant, but NO ONE listens to us. I’ve been advocating with my federal reps for six years, and no one cares. I have to chat with pain patients online everyday, who don’t want to live anymore. It’s a terrible thing for a government to do to its citizens, and the war on drugs must end NOW. Carl Hart is writing about his research into recreational drugs. There are many people who do not become addicts – many, many people. The point is that the substances are not the problem. It’s economic and social issues that make people not want to live and want to take risks to feel a bit better. We need to flip the conversation and help people in pain. We didn’t do anything to deserve our painful diseases, and our life is difficult enough to be judged by everyone, including our own doctors who are supposed to first do no harm. Thanks for listening if you made it to the end. If you could do a column on pain patients and how they are already discriminated against and deserve respect and help from their employers, I’d be happy to help. I have a ton of experts who you could talk to. THANKS!

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