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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Teen Dies After Father Gives Him Pills To Party, Police Say

This tiny article came from The Associated Press in my Sunday paper this morning:

Teen dies after father gives him pills to party, police say

Spring Hill. A Gulf Coast man says in a taped conversation that he gave his 15-year-old son powerful prescription drugs because he wanted the boy to know "how to party right," police said.
Steven Alfano is now charged with third-degree murder after son Vincent died of an accidental overdose in June. Witnesses say the 47-year-old Spring Hill man showed his son how to crush and snort pills like the pain-killer oxycodone and the heroin substitute methadone.
Alfano was arrested Friday and is being held without bail. Officials did not know if he had a lawyer. The father initially told police he kept the medications locked away so no one else could get them. Alfano later told two of Vincent's friends that he knowingly gave the drugs to his son to teach him to party. The conversation was recorded by police.

I was utterly speechless and disgusted that this douche-bag had not a single thought about the safety of his child. He just wanted to show his son how to be just as douche-y as himself resulting in the kid's death. Unfortunately this is a dangerously increasing trend. Prescription drugs are becoming the top notch street drugs, even more popular than cocaine used to be in the 70's. I turn away many many questionable pain management prescriptions for this reason, especially if they took the time to drive down from Kentucky to get them. That state continues to have higher rates of prescription narcotic overdoses than most other states.

On the one hand I say "Let them overdose." On the other hand, logic kicks in and I realize these "dealers" have absolutely no idea what they are doing when they sell or give these drugs to treatment naive people on the street. Opiates have a tolerance that is seemingly limitless depending on the length and extent of exposure. You hear all the time about someone who has been in rehab for heroin, they get out and fall off the wagon in a bad way. They mistakenly use the amount of heroin they were used to before rehab. Since their body is no longer accustomed to such high doses of heroin it is fatal for approximately 8 out of 10 former junkies who return to junk and then unwittingly end up meeting Jesus...I hear he is a lot shorter than I thought he would be...

There was also a story several months ago about a high school kid and his friend who bought methadone 40mg tablets from another kid at school, went to a football game with the kid's mom, took the pills and died in their sleep. The mother thought nothing was wrong because both boys were in good spirits and appeared fine when they went to bed. Late the next afternoon the mother goes to wake them up only to find them dead. She is now an advocate against prescription drug abuse, as are many others who have been thrust into an unfortunate and emotionally crippling fiasco.

This dirty little problem has gotten so bad that there are now anti-drug ads that show a street dealer complaining because kids don't buy from him anymore because they are getting high out of the medicine cabinet at home. "So if something goes wrong don't blame me (ie the drug dealer) because they are getting the drugs at home." There is even another ad that shows two dead teens, one from illegal substances and one from prescription drugs with the tag line "Which one seems more dead?".

I am calling on our dear self-important legislators to squeeze the life out of this illegal and lethal trade. We need to take control of the war on prescription drugs which is proving to be an even tougher battle than the war on illegal substances. Mandatory death penalties for ALL person(s) who were prescribed a controlled substance and are guilty of selling or distributing prescription controlled substances that resulted in the death or vegetative state of ANY other person. Send the message. Enforce the message. No plea bargains, no side deals, just DEATH! ...And I am not talking about sentencing with the death penalty and then using taxpayer money to keep the douche-bag comfy and fed, I am talking sentence and execution all within 30 days. While we are at it the same penalty should apply to all person(s) who commit armed robbery, child molestation, and knowingly bankrupting a corporation....Yeah that is for you ENRON douche-bags because you ruined more lives than any drug czar ever has.

Wow, now that I have that off my chest I feel like an enormous weight of hate has been lifted from my shoulders and I may now resume a normal life. Onward medical soldiers and remember to keep the patient's best health in mind whether they like your treatment or not.


Anonymous said...

Stunned. Someone would do this to their own kid.

A newspaper article printed last week stated that over 1,000 deaths were attributed to fentanyl illegally obtained from another country in a short period of time e.g. last year. If the internet access can be controlled as a listed source, what about more information available and out there to American pharmacists for control of prescription sources?

Last time I worked at a tiny community hospital we had a nurse come in to our ER and get admitted for opioid OD. Turns out via family members pooling information and the new state controlled substance reporting INSPECT that she was getting lots of Soma from mail-order, Oxycontin from local drugstore and something else from another drugstore.

I didn't see any evidence of pain when she was in-house. The metabolites of Soma are extremely addictive, and she was tolerating a large amount of oxycodone. Seems like she was multisourcing of course, but no one was in charge except the woman's craving. What is the role of the pharmacist in all this? Should we be running documentation on everyone bringing in CII scripts? Who would have been able to intervene in a more timely manner?

I remember the impact of when MSContin came out working in a large area hospital compounding Narcan drip after drip for a gal who OD'd on MSContin.

Is limiting manufacturer production the answer to availability of these drugs?

Anonymous said...

With all due respect I disagree. This "war on drugs" has been real effective in the past 30 years, hasn't it? Let's not push this stupid drug policy even further than what it is already.

Your idea of death penalty for a patient who sold his pills is also incredibly warped. The blame game in America has gotten out of hand; sometimes people have to accept the consequences of their own actions.

ADHD CPhT said...

" Mandatory death penalties for ALL person(s) who were prescribed a controlled substance and are guilty of selling or distributing prescription controlled substances that resulted in the death or vegetative state of ANY other person."

Hopefully this won't be legally interperated to possibly include pharmacy staff. :)

Big 'N Tasty RPH said...

That comment was meant for the douche bags that get a prescription and just start selling or handing out pills so everybody can be just as f*cked up as they are. I HATE those people because they face no consequences for their actions, kind of like how child molesters in the Catholic church face absolutely no penalty for destroying lives and undermining the religion except the "responsible leadership" throws money at the families, covers up the molestation, and moves the priest to another parish where the aforementioned offense occurs again with the same flippant disregard for the victims. It is like sending a small child to Michael Jackson's house so you can sue later when he gets nasty with your child. Those parents should face the death penalty also...and yes, I am an opinionated angry b*tch.

Anonymous said...

you are off your rocker, you must be a girl

Anonymous said...

I can see where you are coming from, I know people who can obtain about anything, except Lyrica and Indomethicin. However it makes it much more difficult for those in chronic pain to get relief. My parents had to watch me barely able to move from my bed to the toliet for about six months before I found a subscriber that believed that I had an issue. 6 million tests later they have the problem nailed. I was able to work again, the Irony is that if I sold my drugs I would make more than I do at my not poorly paying job. Scary.

Mother Jones, RN said...

I hope he finds a "boyfriend" when he's in jail. May he rot in hell.