Surprising Ally in OxyContin Struggle: Eminem

Eminem recently told Vibe magazine that some of the deaths that we have witnessed in recent months and years are due to irresponsible doctors prescribing drugs to celebrity patients.

Here at StopOxy we know that Eminem has a dubious history of singing about drugs in a glorified way but his latest statements make us believe he might be able to raise awareness about the dangers of drugs.

We have recently  seen Michael Jackson’s death as an overdose of sleeping pills (and he was a documented addict of drugs like Vicodin and Xanax). And more recently Brittany Murphy’s (Eminem’s co-star in 8 Mile) sudden death was officially listed as pneumonia but she had been using drugs like Vicodin and Klonopin.  Of course, Anna Nicole Smiths overdose a few years back still dominates tabloid news.

Not Just Celebrity Doctors Have Motivation to Irresponsibly Prescribe

Of course in the specific Vibe article, Eminem focuses on the doctor’s prescribing unhealthy combinations of drugs to celebrities because the doctors want to “stay on the celebrities’ radar,” the truth is that in general doctors have reasons that might compel them to prescribe dangerous drugs to normal people.

Doctors for the rest of us “non celebrities” might also want to keep their patients happy by providing the medicine that a person may be developing an addiction to. Also, drug companies spend billions annually to reward doctors for prescribing their brands.

Doctors are also more likely to prescribe drugs to patients that are still new and experimental (see this article in the New York Times about Risperdal).

The bottom line is that there isn’t much close monitoring of what doctors are prescribing, and in the instance of overdose it almost never comes back to punish the doctor who might have prescribed irresponsibly.

Patients and Their Families Fend for Themselves

It is up to the patients to educate themselves, and when the fog of addiction starts clouding judgement, denial sets in.  So begins the dangerous game of flirting with potentially fatal overdose.  Families and loved ones are often kept in the dark but are the best chance someone who is becoming addicted has at being made aware of their destructive path.  Unfortunately the disease of addiction is a family disease and often the caretaking family members behave co-dependently and this can insulate the person who needs help from getting it.

If you have any suspicion that a person you care about is abusing prescription medications – even if a trusted doctor is supplying the prescription – then it is recommended that you act immediately by contacting an addiction counselor or a clinical professional to make an assessment of the use and possibly lay the groundwork to approach your loved one about their drug use.