Weeks ago I posted a few new ideas—things like a memorial wall for victims of opioid dependence, and a ‘wall of shame’ for doctors who are known for reckless prescribing of opioids. I mentioned these ideas over at SuboxForum as well.
I received good feedback from readers here, and from members there. Sometimes the best feedback is the hardest to hear; I’ll get excited about a certain plan of action, and like anyone, I don’t like it when someone rains on my parade.
One of my addiction docs from years ago was big on ‘sober thinking.’ Back then, it seemed as if anything I came up with that pushed the boundaries was in need of more ‘sober thinking.’ I wondered if ‘sober thinking’ was simply code for ‘I don’t want to say yes to your idea, and maybe that was the case in SOME instances. But I now recognize a part of myself that acts quickly, impulsively, with great optimism, and with little regard for risks. ‘Sober thinking’ is simply letting an idea sit in one’s mind for a few days or even weeks, and keeping a truly open mind to the comments that one receives about the idea.
I won’t spell out who wrote to me, but I’ll thank the people who did—who risked my ire by giving their honest opinions. I mentioned a memorial page; some people pointed out that a memorial on an addiction-related web page may add to the pain and shame felt by family members. As for my ‘doctor wall of shame’, I was reminded that every story has two sides, and it may be more useful to simply provide referenced information that would allow readers to make up their minds without my own coloring of the facts. I want to thank the people who wrote, and let them know that they made a difference—and the site will be better because of their efforts.
Instead of the earlier ideas, I added what I am calling Overdose Report. The page will contain news stories identified to Google as having ‘drug overdose’ in their tags. The information will be replaced every 24 hours or so. I experimented with different intervals and found that no day went by without a significant amount of news under that tag—a rather compelling statistic!