A Societal Ill Wind

Monday, September 17, 2018

A societal ill wind blows a lot of controversy around over drug addiction and how it effects citizens, families and how we all live..  A recent doctor appointment brought me closer then I ever thought to drug addiction and its effects on the total community. I drove to Carthage, Tn. the first time ever travelling to another small town in eastern Tennessee. The injection, affordable, and worth the drive was the event.  The medical director knew a bit about my educational background and work in the public schools. We talked or better I listened to him explain his dilemma medically speaking for adequate treatment of the addict. I was very surprised at his candor and frustration saying to me that the medical approach to drugs does not work and prescribing more drugs not the answer. But what is, he asked?

Drugs do not personally effect me?! At least I didn't think that it did until this visit. To explain. Awaiting my appointment time I did so in the waiting room. There were no chairs left and a few people were standing. When it was time for my appointment and met some of the staff doing the preliminary work prior to the injection I asked about the people waiting to see the doctor. They said to me that a portion of the practice is addicts and treatment thereof. When the doctor came to do the injection he remarked about my educational background.  He shared that his practice includes drug addicted individuals and the consequences of the addiction effects the entire family, the community and encompasses all not just the individual. What to do he asked rhetorically?  

The doctor's philosophy was one of interest to me. He said he does not dispensing more drugs for drug addiction but his purview is medicine and something else is needed but what? Briefly I shared with him that drug addiction is sociological/psychological challenge but who was really responsible to administer an intervention program?  He quickly said his clinic could be the beginning of a program more comprehensively based on the person, not the addict. I think the idea has merit and in that small community a program could be begun and measured carefully for efficacy. I wrote the doctor when I got back to Chattanooga and suggested a way forward. I am hopeful for a response. 

Robert Brooks


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