I think, instead of telling kids ‘don’t do drugs, they’re bad’ we should show them the opiate withdrawal patient I had the other day
25 years old, in jail for god knows what, cops bring him in with a lac to his forehead from banging it on the wall repeatedly. He is already handcuffed so we put him in an isolation room, with sliding glass doors. Because he is in custody we take everything but the bed out of the room.
Patient is screaming the whole time he doesn’t want to be there (same bro) with blood everywhere from the head lac.
5min later, I hear this sickening crash, I’m pretty sure someone has just run head first into the glass doors, because mate I’ve done that before those curtains are assholes, so rounding the corner I see blood all over the glass door, patient still screaming he wants out but is now banging his head on the glass.
It takes 4 security guards to hold this guy down, he is absolutely losing his shit, screaming and flailing and has no idea whats going on. Calling out for his mom, for Neil (???), for a sandwich, doesn’t know what day it is or just refuses to answer we can’t tell, pupils 4mm and sluggish but thats how it was when they brought him in, so security cuffs him to the bed so he can’t hit the wall.
Fastforward 10 minutes and he has dislocated/broken his wrist trying to get out of the bed and to the door, he has puke and stool everywhere, refused to take the ativan so we gave midaz, but that didn’t touch him.
This guy screamed from 2-7, we maxed out what we could give him for benzos and he was extraordinarily agitated and wouldn’t settle and was only in the beginning stages of withdrawals. It was terrifying, but the thing that got me was after screaming about how we took the 20′s (from his underwear??) he was quiet for a minute, I thought ‘shit the midaz finally caught up with him and now were gonna need to intubate’ but he then screams
“I don’t want to do this anymore, I don’t want to be on drugs anymore, I want this to stop, I want to be clean, please someone help me”
And thats what got me. This guy was 25, had his whole life ahead of him, but got caught up in drugs and it was going to kill him, and he wanted out, but withdrawals were so bad that it was easier to keep using.
Fuck telling kids don’t do drugs. Show them what its like to try to stop, how all your friends die from OD, how you are one phonecall-not-made away from death yourself, how you get to be tied to a bed in the ER and your nurses need to apologize to other patients because you can’t stop screaming and just shit yourself and puked the cookie I gave you and your body is on fire.
Don’t just tell them not to do it, because that doesn’t work, show them what its like to try to stop, because sometimes fear works better than facts.
Note: Throughout the day we gave him 4 of ativan, 27.5 of Midazlolam and 12 of haldol, and this guy still was still agitated and screaming and 100% inconsolable, and by that time the doc was like ‘we can’t give him anymore, but lets transfer him out before he crashes’. It was a fucking time