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Medication Impact on Driving and Working



  • Entire reply removed by moderator paulgla. Material is not relevasnt to the topic.
  • Entire reply removed by moderator paulgla. Material is not relevasnt to the topic.
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  • Very well put, and again, this goes back to that issue of common sense that both Bruce and I have commented on earlier. Unfortunately there are always people that don't have or bother to use common sense and in fact do put innocent lives in danger by driving while medicated with narcotics. It is reassuring to me at least that it appears those of us here at SH are responsible adults that do exercise common sense. :)
  • i'm sure most, if not all, of us here have heard the disturbing stories in the mainstream media regarding people that drive after taking prescription sleeping medications, particularly ambien and/or ambien cr. apparently a percentage of those people are unaware they are doing this (known as "sleep driving"). there have been several cases in the news here where teens and young adults get ahold of a parent or other adults prescription ambien and do this "for fun". [( x( but anyhow, here is an article to support "sleep driving" incidents.

    obviously, this isn't exactly the same circumstance as those driving after having adjusted to the narcotic pain medications they're taking, but i felt it was worthy of mentioning, and applies to this thread.
  • If only we could find doctors to treat pain for what it is. Pain. Does it matter what the cause? Am I less worthy of relief?

    Because I am young... I shouldn't have these problems. Because I stay home with my child... I should get a job. Because I am a woman... I am hormonal.
    Why is my pain less important?

    Every aspect of my life is judged. By everyone around me. Ever hear that John Mayer song? "Waiting on the world to change" That's me.

    I have to say y'all... my heart is a little broken tonight. I need to find a job. I need to get my butt in gear to save for this new baby. To finally buy a home.

    How can I work, when I can't sit in an office chair? How can I stand on my feet in a grocery store for hours on end? I know I can't lift anything. How can I possibly do this if I can't first get the help I need to get through the day?

    I would love to get back to work. Am I not entitled to do so, because I would require medication? So then should I go on disability? I don't feel "disabled" And if I were to go on disability... I feel I would have even more judgment passed.

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  • Thank you Cathy for the link! It's always best to have a factual reference point for clarification, especially when there is intense emotion on both ends of the spectrum of a topic such as this. It would be a good idea for all of us who do take pain medications that have the ability to impair us to go to the link you provided and be informed as to the laws in this regard for where we live. That way there is no speculation, argument or worry.

    Thanks again! :)
  • Bionic~Could you please provide a link that supports this? I don't dispute, or even doubt, what you're saying here at all, it's just that I have spent quite a while tonight on the ADA website and am not seeing this addressed. It would probably be a good idea for any of us that work to become familiar with this protection by the ADA, just in case. Is this part of the Bill that President Bush signed in July of this year, do you know? I'll keep looking myself and if I do find where pain meds in the workplace are addressed, I'll provide the link here. (FYI, I did find where 'illegal' drug use is addressed, just not prescribed meds used legally.)

    Thanks so much! :)

    october 16, 2007

    study finds driving abilities not impaired by moderate, long-term pain medication use

    moderate, long-term pain medication use does not impair a person’s ability to drive safely, according to a study by dr. asokumar buvanendran, associate professor, department of anesthesiology at rush university medical center, chicago. the study was presented at the american society of anesthesiologists meeting in san francisco on october 13.

    opioid pain relievers, such as morphine and other narcotics, carry warning labels urging patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery during use. in addition, drivers under the influence of pain medication are typically subjected to the same laws and penalties as drivers under the influence of alcohol. and yet, in a recent, preliminary study buvanendran found no difference in the “driving skills and reaction times” of patients taking morphine compared to non-medicated drivers.

    the study compared two groups of patients: 51 patients chronically receiving oral morphine and 49 patients (the control group) receiving no pain medication. each study participant drove for approximately 12 minutes in a driving simulator that measured deviation from the center of the road, weaving, the number of accidents, and reaction time to surprise events. the amount of weaving was 3.83 feet for both sets of drivers, and the opioid group had 5.33 collisions compared to the non-opioid group with 5.04 (no statistical difference). reaction time also was similar for both groups: 0.69 seconds for the controlled group and 0.67 for the opioid group.

    the results suggest that patients who need, long-term pain medicine actually may “become tolerant” to the medication side effects that potentially impair function, buvanendran said.

    in the future, these patients may be able to live “like normal functioning people, without the stigma and limitations now associated with long-term pain medication use,” he said. fewer restrictions also will allow patients to travel more easily and access treatments, ultimately improving their quality of life.

    this research model will be used in future studies to assess the effects of other types of anesthetics and pain medication.

  • There is so much truth in what you're saying here, and you are definitely NOT alone in your thinking, unfortunately!

    I, too, would give anything to have a job to go to every day and a paycheck to bring home at the end of the week. I have even been interviewed at several places that I knew I would have done a great job for, but in every single case I was asked "so, why did you leave your job at EMS?". This leaves one with 2 options: tell the truth and try to convince them that you are confident in your ability to do the job-or-lie, and worry every day that you will slip up and mention to a coworker that you might befriend that you get injections in your back, or that you're on pain meds, etc. and end up in a situation where the boss now feels they've hired a liar (which technically they have) and risk being fired for it.

    According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), one does not have to disclose their disabiliy to a prospective or current employer as long as they remain able to perform the functions of the job as expected and without accomodations. I agree with that because it's none of their business, BUT, this again reverts back to the scenerio I presented above, in which case when (I say when instead of if because if we're employed there for any length of time it's highly unlikely that they wouldn't find out), but yea, when they do find out, you face termination or at the very least, intense scrutiny, for falsifying information or as they could accuse, lying.

    So, how would one handle such a scenerio? What would the rest of you say when presented with the question of "why did you leave (your last job)?" if you know that the reason you left is because, due to your back problems/pain/meds/whatever, you were unable to perform those job duties anymore? Or, if you HAVE been thru this, what DID you say?

    I know this is another aspect of a very touchy subject that each of us feels passionately about, and at the risk of starting any further confrontations/arguments, I think it's another valid piece to this discussion. ***ModSquad..if I'm out of line in putting this here rather than starting another thread with it, please accept my apologies and feel free to move this post***

    So, what do ya'll think?
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