Monday, July 17, 2017

The End of Narcotics

I once carried narcotics but gave it up. It’s too much hassle.

For garden-variety pain, codeine, Vicodin et al are sometimes but not always superior to over-the-counter pain medicines. I liked them because hotel guests have usually tried ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, naproxen, etc. During the visit, I can hand over a few days of narcotics, and the guest knows he’s getting something different.

Nowadays, when I determine during the phone call that the guest only needs a pain medicine, I have nothing to offer, so I end up not making the visit. Many guests don’t want to pay the housecall fee in exchange for a prescription.

In an effort to fight the raging opioid epidemic, states have passed laws to keep track of narcotics. Pharmacists now send a report to the state for every narcotic prescription they fill. That’s easy because pharmacists already record everything on their computer, so they merely hit an extra button to send the report. 

If I hand out a few narcotics, I must sit down at my computer when I return home, find the reporting form, and fill it out. Some of the questions seemed cryptic, so I worried that I wasn’t doing it correctly. It seemed safer to stop handing them out.

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