Sandi rants about drug abuse, knowing there's no real answerI have worked for years to appear to be a pretty calm person. Mostly I succeed but there is one subject that will set me off like a cruise missile.

I started treating my arthritis with aspirin, yes, plain ole aspirin, in the 1970s.

It took decades for me to start taking any pain medications that were addictive, and I did my homework.

I know when you take a narcotic for its intended purpose it works to stop the pain. That’s it. Yes, there are side effects but not the ones people expect. I don’t get high.

This is where I get angry.

I know many people who get high on various plants and other illegal substances and that is their decision. It’s when they start messing around with the drugs I need to get me though the day I get mad.

I’d give about a million bucks to find out what the high is like that a healthy person feels when they take a drug meant for me or someone with a condition that responds to that drug. It must be something else because they have stolen prescriptions from my purse, offered me money for them and when I say no, they found someone to say yes.

They abuse doctors, lie to pain clinics and get the very drugs that so many of us must have to function in any capacity so they can enjoy a few hours of some kind of escape.

Then, when they get caught, they are sorry. They go to rehab and do whatever they do there and most of the time they leave the facility and start right back up.

I would also like to trade bodies with these people so they can feel what I deal with all the time for five minutes. I want them to know that every illegal pill they take makes it that much harder for anyone with chronic pain to get them legally.

I go through the same tests now as someone who abuses drugs. I get random drug screenings that I have to pay for  to prove I have those opiates in my system, that I didn’t sell them to some person who thinks they need them more than me.

I’ve had to take my pill bottles in and have the pills counted in my presence to prove that I take them when I’m supposed to, that I don’t double up on them or I don’t know what.

I know the bottom line is addicts don’t really give a flying f*** what I think or how I feel, they just want to be high and are as addicted to them as I am for the pain relief they give.

I live in a state with one of the highest opiate abuse rates in the nation, so I really have to keep my mouth shut in public about what I have and what I take. I can only get a 30 day supply at one time, show my ID when I drop off a script and when I pick it up. The state drug agency now has my name on a list somewhere because I am a regular user.

I’ve also discovered that my pharmacy has a limit to the those very drugs they can get each month. If I get there after their allocation is gone, I’ve got to start hitting other pharmacies, hoping they still have enough left for my prescription.

I don’t appreciate this, and every time I see a celebrity entering rehab instead of jail for having drugs they shouldn’t have, I get angrier.

What can I do? Nothing really. I just wanted to get this off my chest and hope someone who takes drugs because they’re fun will look at this and realize those pills weren’t made for them, that somewhere someone is writhing in pain because they can’t get them.

And I hope they go straight to hell.