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Home > List Archives

Drug (ab)use in Medicine?

Cotton, Chris (SAAS) trauma-list@trauma.org
Sun, 9 Jun 2002 16:11:07 +0930


......... I turn the lights off, light some incense, stoke my pipe and I'm 
taken on a musical journey for an hour. Hey - it works for me............. 

Chris - just what do you put in that pipe?   :) 

John 

Dr John L Holmes 
Director Emergency Medicine 
Mater Hospitals, Brisbane, Australia 


Hmmmm, i could give the boring answer, or one that might stimulate some
discussion, and perhaps even debate. I do this not necessarily as an
advocate of what follows, but in the interest of seeing how other trauma
players view the topic. We can be lame and ignore it, or we can look at it
and discuss it.

Hypothetically, suppose i said it was marijuana that i put in the pipe; and
that i did it because i found it stimulating to my musical ear, it increased
my clarity of thought and i enjoyed the sensation of being mildly stoned
OCCASIONALLY? Would one cite studies that categorically denied that this
might be a desireable side effect in some people?

Would people start immediately citing references to studies that showed the
deleterious effects of the drug? Would they then also do the same for PDI
inhibitors like caffeine, or other epidemiological studies that showed the
effects of alcohol and tobacco and their impacts on society? 

Would one then dare ask how many EMS workers use marijuana (or other drugs)
occasionally, and how many of them may infact have spent longer in the job
because they employed a behaviour that helped them take time out from their
jobs occasionally and gave them "stress relief" perhaps. Their equivalent of
the Theatre, gardening or a concert perhaps?

Remember that this is only hypothetical, so please don't shoot the messenger
for asking legitimate questions and bringing up discussion that examines
drug use by EMS workers. I know a lot of people in the EMS industry who do
use different drugs, both legitimate and illicit occasionally. Understanding
what they use and a having a responsible attitude to their use, in their
eyes does not necessarily correlate as an issue for most of them.

Regards,
Chris Cotton
Intensive Care Paramedic.