Thursday, January 30, 2014

Medix Pharmacy Drug Awareness Workshop 2014

" Ek sal nou vir hom dood skiet. Ek is moeg van hom".. said the middle aged Afrikaans speaking gentleman as he made his way into Medix pharmacy a few weeks ago with his 25 year old son who is addicted to CAT and heroin for the past few years now. At first when I seen the young man I thought that he was involved in an accident as he was barely able to walk. Slowly he made his way into the clinic room whilst clutching onto his tummy. " I can't take the pain any longer. It hurts too much. I need pain killers." He shouted. His legs looked as though he was suffering from DVT or had some sought of skin acne at first but when he told me that he was overdosing on CAT regularly, I then realized that his body was actually trying to find an avenue to get rid of the toxins and poison from his blood stream. I can not forget the anguish and sadness that I witnessed on his father's face. As a result of this young gentleman's addiction , his mom has now developed a neurological problem due to the stress, tension and anxiety associated with her son's addiction problem. 

Muhammed is young well educated Malay gentleman residing in the Florida area. He frequents the pharmacy on a regular basis but recently he passed by the pharmacy to warn us against providing his mom with sleeping tablets and tranquilizers. His mom is a prescription drug addict ever since he was a teenager but her condition has worsened over the years. Muhammed blames the pharmacies in the area for feeding his mom's addiction. Whilst it is against the law to simply dish out schedule 5 drugs to patients over the counter, it is a known fact that there are pharmacies out there who are only interested in money and business without taking the patients well being at heart. It is these type of pharmacies that feed addictions and in the process destroy homes. 

The above two cases certainly paint a very grim picture but unfortunately this is the reality of the situation. In the first scenario the young gentleman obtained his fix at a street corner in Florida. His pill pusher being non other than a notorious Nigerian drug lord. In the second scenario, the middle aged woman obtains her fix from a certified legalized pill pusher. In both cases though, the results and outcome is catastrophic. In both cases, the family unit is disrupted. In the second scenario though, the addiction could have been prevented if the pharmacist had taken more responsibility towards the well being of the middle aged woman.

Drug addiction is a world wide epidemic that has plagued the lives of the rich and poor. In the past drug addiction was usually associated with rich upper class societies, but now it has spread into every echelon of society from the richest of the rich to the poorest of the poor. Cat, Tick, cocaine, heroin, whoonga, dagga, marijuana and nyope is readily available within our societies for as little as R30 a fix. The drug addiction problem that the Florida community is currently facing will spiral out of control unless the community stand together and say, enough is enough. There are two components that need to be dealt with. The first aspect is dealing with the addict, in other words treatment and rehabilitation. The second component is demanding that the police force take more action against drug dealers. It is a known fact that many policemen are involved with drug dealing as well. 

It has only been three months since Medix pharmacy has re opened, but the situations we have encountered thus far are horrific and heart breaking and hence we decided to put together a drug awareness workshop so that we can give back to society. Even if we help two or three people, at least we have empowered and liberated another human being from the clutches of addiction. This person in turn can help another addict and so forth. Dr. Anwar Jeewa, the founding director of the Minds Alive Wellness Centre gladly accepted to be a part of the workshop and the team at Medix pharmacy would like to thank him for the excellent ongoing work he is doing with regards to drug addiction.

To those health care professionals and pharmacists out there who persist in feeding a patients addiction, please go back in time and assess why have you chosen to become a doctor or a pharmacist. If it is just because of name, fame and wealth, rather than patient care and serving humanity then unfortunately you have failed miserably as a health care professional. The staff at Medix pharmacy are consistently abused by patients for refusing to hand over tranquilizers, sleeping tablets and antibiotics over the counter and that is because we have a social responsibility towards our patients. We rather be abused than being a part and parcel of another human beings destruction.
To the youth out there, our message is clear: Life is beautiful. God has given us just one chance to live our lives to the fullest. Just one chance to achieve our goals and dreams in life. Poverty should never be an obstacle towards success. Do not be influenced by friends.There is no better friend than your family. Be in the rememberance of God Almighty. Work hard to improve yourself in all aspects of life and live to be an inspiration to others.

Photo: With Dr. Anwar Jeewa, Dr. Nafeesa Khan and the psychologists from the Magalies Wellness Centre


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