How drunk do you have to be to be barred from drinking in an Irish bar in the 1950s? Well, the answer has to be, drunk enough to drop a two-year-old off a bar stool.
Older adults are not immune to the problems of abuse and addiction, and signs point to a growing problem.
The nation is simultaneously in the midst of a chronic pain epidemic and an opioid epidemic.
In the case of opioid pain medication, not only is it often not medically indicated to use these medications, but we also take a significant risk each time we prescribe them. We risk our patient developing a dependence or addiction, we risk the medications being diverted or abused, we risk saddling patients with side effects that can be worse than their primary complaint.
These are good reasons to be thoughtful, if not outright resistant to using opioid painkillers. Opioids are killing more than 18,000 people every year, so asking your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about the alternative options for pain relief and whether opioids are necessary.
As medical boards, insurers and government agencies enforce this guideline, prescribing differently from the top line recommendations is likely to become onerous, leaving many patients in the lurch.
Like many families, my husband, sons and I often have engaging conversations while we're sitting at the dinner table. Something about that environment naturally lends itself to conversation. Sometimes we just share details from our days, or my kids tell me what they learned at school. But sometimes we have our most thought-provoking talks while putting forks to plates.
Last week, Carly Fiorina's call for reforming drug treatment policies garnered a strong reaction during the Republican presidential debate when she shared how she and her husband buried their child to drug addiction. Fiorina called drug addiction an "epidemic." She is right.