Hank Lihn is the executive producer of Here one minute, a film about the tragedies resulting from prescription medication misuse. The film is available here and TC readers are invited to its premier on June 6th. He has previously written about this topic here.
You were 13. You acted out. Someone prescribed you a pill, they said it was for any number of learning disorders, and you ended up taking it for the next 20 some odd years of your life. You were 22. You had an injury. You ended up on pain medicine, and built an addiction which has been called a treatment for what may be the rest of your life. You are sad, perhaps even depressed. The pills help, but you wonder what life is without them.
The lines at the bounds of normal have shrunk. Everyone is part of some type of neatly labeled, and “treatable” disorder, all with varying degrees of severity and some would argue legitimacy.
We have a problem with pills. It’s getting worse.
We have lived without pills for thousands of years, and while some greatly improve our lives, others cause dependency and in some cases tragedy. Please note that some of these pills are truly medicines. But others are not. Those lines between treatment and cure, problem and pain, normal and condition are all blurred to a terrifying and debilitating extent.
I recently produced a film called Here One Minute about the story of a girl who was beloved by many, but tragically one night had a bit too many different substances, mixing opiates with benzos, not purposefully, and did not wake up.
We have heard this story. We know this story. I have written it before in this very place.
What we have yet to address after cataloging our feelings and tragedies is why we should give a fuck. What we can do.
After several years I still do not have the answer. While I would like to think I have personally dedicated myself to making headway, I have not. There is more.
For now, without the drama, the harping, the dull noise which fades into some much background chatter like the teacher from Charlie Brown, I would only ask that we realize that this IS a problem. Take a moment. See that a portion of our shift in consciousness needs to take into consideration other aspects of our health.
For it truly appears that this like many of the problems currently affecting our society will be drastically reduced with a shift in our health an consciousness. No hippie bullshit, but Real. Fucking. Change.
For now, let’s put in our thoughts for one moment that there may be another way than to indefinitely prescribe children drugs, and stop enabling the tragedies that happen as a result of this culture. Please, help me in thinking about how we put the pills down.