Apr 27, 2017 News
-says Senior Medical official
The pain killer, Pethidine, is highly addictive. This is why many countries have embarked on replacing it with morphine, which is just as effective, but less addictive.
A respected medical practitioner, who asked not to be named, told Kaieteur News that while there is ample availability of morphine here in Guyana, many doctors continue to prescribe the contentious Pethidine medication to their patients. Pethidine is also known as Demerol.
This is the same drug that is being administered to the recently resigned APNU-AFC Councillor, Carol Joseph. She is believed to have become addicted to the narcotic medication, and has been accused of using her political status, to access frequent injections at the Fort Wellington Hospital in Berbice.
“The thing about Pethidine is that the more you give to a patient, the more they become addicted to it,” the official said.
It was made abundantly clear, that Pethidine is not a drug intended for prolonged use. However, records show that Joseph has had access to the medication for many months. Some sources say, even years.
“You would usually find doctors giving a patient, one or sometimes two doses of Pethidine, and then stop. It should not be used for a long period of time,” the Health official said.
The doctor is of the few that the continued use of Pethidine by public health institutions may be doing more harm than good.
“Indeed, the system does seem to be creating addicts,” the doctor said.
It was explained that there are even in cases, where medical practitioners give one or two doses of Pethidine to a patient, the patient themselves would then return to the hospital, requesting more of the very medication.
Cases also exist of patients faking allergies towards morphine, to avoid being switched from the highly addictive, Pethidine.
“People seem to like the high that Pethidine gives,” the official opined.
In the case of Carol Joseph, she is being seen as a victim of the system that continues to prescribe Pethidine.
Initially, Joseph was receiving a 50mg injection of Pethidine. Her need, which continues to be met by medical professionals, has grown to as much as 200mg of Pethidine, in just one day.
The frequent doses are no longer being administered to Joseph via painful injections, but rather, “a central line that has been placed in her neck, which takes the drug directly through her vein intravenously (via IV).”
Only recently, a Government official admitted to Kaieteur News that Joseph’s condition was no secret to some of her comrades in the People’s National Congress (PNC), but no efforts were made to help. (Rehana Ahamad)
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