Self Treatment


I remember the first time I “self-treated” a nasty cold while I was working in a pharmacy.

Every pharmacist, who has practiced for more than 5 years, remembers what it was like to work sick, not the best practice; however, we all did it.

Take the standard cocktail of acetaminophen, decongestant, expectorant, lozenge and get to work.

This one time, early on in my career, the standard cocktail wasn't working very well.

Maybe I could treat myself with some prescription cough medication.

My misguided instincts assured me my rationalizations were adequate.

Thirty minutes later I felt like a new man, smart and healthy; ready to take on the rest of my shift. 

As a young professional I was certain I had it all under control.

I now realize that the feeling was just a rush of stimulated opioid receptors increasing my mood.

This was 1988, I spent the next 8 years chasing that exact same feeling.

As health care professionals we sometimes tend to think we know our own best treatment options.

For starters, follow this rule: If the treatment option being considered is illegal, it’s not an option.