There’s a title you can take at least four ways:
- What to do when prescription drugs are unavailable.
- What to do when over-the-counter drugs in the medicine cabinet run out.
- What will happen when drug addicts run out of their recreational drug(s) of choice?
- What will happen when those with mental issues run out of their drugs?
There are probably others that don’t occur to me at the moment. I suspect it says something about you if you look at the first thing that pops into your head when you see the title. No, I’m not telling you what popped into my head when I wrote that.
Instead of my first thought, let’s look at the first item, “What to do when prescription drugs are unavailable.” You or a loved one take a prescription drug for a number of reasons, but I want to look at two of them–there’s an acute illness to treat or you’re on a drug to help manage a long-term problem.
For most long-term problems, the only realistic answer I’ve found is to stock up as best you can on what you need. I’ve been able to do that to some extent just because of refill timings and the occasional missed dose. I’ve also been able to use overseas sources to buy some of what I need. *Some*. They don’t have everything, unfortunately. Most “stronger” drugs and new drugs still under patent aren’t available through these channels.
The drugs needed for acute illness can be many, but let’s narrow it down to the two most common problems, pain and infection. You’ve managed to gash yourself while splitting firewood and it hurts. Worse yet, you were less than successful at cleaning the wound and keeping it clean, and now you’ve picked up an infection.
No, we aren’t going into the things we can do to stay safer on the job, the need for proper wound cleansing (even when it hurts) or whether or not to close a wound. Those are three other posts that I may or may not write at some point.
Prescription pain meds are a need that you may as well write off. Other than not taking all the ones you were prescribed the last time you had a root canal, you aren’t getting them in any legal or semi-sketchy way. If you haven’t taken them all up already, what you’ll have are the non-prescription pain meds we have now, such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Antibiotics are a different matter. At one time, an understanding physician would have written you a script or four, but those days are pretty much long over. All doctors are scared witless of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and they aren’t going to risk their job or the ability to pay back all those student loans. You really shouldn’t try to accumulate a store by not taking a full course of a prescribed antibiotic, because that’s one of the ways we’ve gotten the latest crop of drug-resistant bugs.
We do have alternatives here. First are those overseas sources I mentioned earlier. They generally have most of the common antibiotics available. Second are antibiotics meant for veterinary use. That may sound sketchy, but they’re the same thing we get at a drugstore, made in the same factories to the same quality standards. Beware that the assclowns in Congress have those in their sights and the ability to get them as easily as we can now may be curtailed at their whim.
But what if you didn’t stock up when you could? What if you’ve run out of your stocks? All is not lost, although the solution is something that requires a green thumb and the foresight to have the stuff planted. There are natural antibiotics out there that, while not as efficacious as the man-made stuff, are better than nothing. Some, such as oregano and thyme are useful as spices. Others, like lavender, have the benefit of being attractive, making it easier to tell the neighbors that they’re simply ornamental plantings. If you live in that sort of place, point out that they are wildflowers and some are “endangered”. They won’t bother to check on you, as they’re too busy heading out to buy pot brownies or something.
You still have time to expand that herb garden for next spring. Don’t dwaddle.