Is your medicine cabinet as safe as you believe?

Older Australians are facing an unprecedented overdose crisis.

Is your medicine cabinet as safe as you believe?

Older people are the largest users of medicines, often using both prescription and non-prescription medicines to assist in treating age-related and disease-related physiological and pathological issues. A study published by the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, found that of 4500 randomly selected Australians aged 75 and above, 66 per cent reported taking five or more medicines, and more than 20 per cent reported using 10 or more.

But are they using these medicines properly?

A new report by Victoria’s Penington Institute titled Australia's Annual Overdose Report 2016 revealed that in 2014, eight of 10 accidental overdose deaths in Australia involved men and women aged between 30 and 59. Additionally, the number of Australians dying from overdoses in their 50s and 60s has tripled. The report found that since 2004, prescription medicine was responsible for 71 per cent of drug-related deaths in Australia. 

Penington Institute CEO John Ryan called the issue an epidemic and suggested Australian governments urgently need to take action.

“These figures challenge the conventional wisdom that it is young urban people who are most at risk of dying of overdose in Australia.

“The data suggests older Australians are facing an unprecedented overdose crisis. If the current trend continues, in five years the age of people most likely to die of overdose will be those aged 50 to 59. These grim figures underscore just how severe the overdose epidemic is right now in Australia,” Mr Ryan said.

The report’s most significant discovery?

Over the past decade, the number of middle-aged men who have died from a drug overdose has skyrocketed. From 2004 to 2014, 762 men and 375 women died from an accidental drug overdose – with opioids, a pharmaceutical form of heroin, to blame.

According to the Penington Institute report, prescription opioid deaths increased by 87 per cent between 2008 and 2014. The most noticeable increase – 148 per cent – occurred in rural and regional areas.

While problems with medicine use and safety in older Australians increase, medical bodies are concerned that not enough is being done to provide comprehensive education regarding safe drug use.


Opinion: Blind trust in doctors a danger

It’s clear that Australians need better education about their prescription medicines. When doctors prescribe and pharmacists sell medicines, they generally do their best to inform patients about how to properly administer the drugs.

Unfortunately, most people need more guidance. Sure, the leaflet inside the box may provide some useful general information. However, the information people require most is relevant to their particular situation. Nearly four in 10 Australians report feeling some confusion when starting a new medicine but may be nervous or embarrassed about asking questions.

As the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia paper found, more than 20 per cent of study respondents aged 75 and above reported using 10 or more medicines. That leaves a lot of room for confusion.

Thankfully, this fact is already recognised by some medical organisations, including the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Beginning today, the TGA has announced it will change Australia’s medicine labels for the first time in 15 years. The aim is to include easier-to-find active ingredients, a critical information panel and designated space for a dispensing label.

“These new changes aim to improve readability and usability of medicine labels by emphasising the active ingredient and critical health information of a particular medicine,” said a TGA spokesperson.

This change in labelling practice highlights the huge problem Australians have with prescription drugs and the recognition that change is urgently needed.

Last week, pharmacists across Australia took part in a campaign to promote safer and wiser use of medicines, as part of the sixth annual Be Medicinewise Week. The campaign aimed to reduce this confusion. It followed the news that those least likely to follow medication instructions were people who only use medicines occasionally.

Prescription drug use continues to soar in Australia and the overdose fatalities rising with it are shocking enough to prompt changes to labelling practices. However, these methods are struggling to keep pace. For now, close attention should be paid to the kinds of drugs we (and our families) take and whether they’re really necessary. Always seek further guidance if in doubt about your medicines.

For more information about how to be responsible with your medicines, check out this guide released during Be Medicinewise Week.

Do you experience confusion when taking medicines? What else can be done to make prescription medicines safer for Australians?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    31st Aug 2016
    My Doctor organises an annual visit to my home by a practicing chemist who discusses my medications and my understanding of them. I choose the chemist where I normally get my prescriptions from. I consider this a valuable service.
    31st Aug 2016
    Make the information pamphlets easier to read, micro print is not easy, even with glasses
    31st Aug 2016
    This is a very important point.

    The article is about older people, almost all of whom need reading glasses, but don't always have them with them in the bathroom.

    31st Aug 2016
    These statistics do not surprise me. People need to be encouraged to devise their own system that tells them whether they have already taken a particular medication that day. When I was on several medications and even today with only two, I do the same thing every day. First thing in the morning I put the tablet boxes/bottles in order on the bench. As soon as I have taken a medication it gets put back in a plastic container on the kitchen bench. When I am travelling I carry a small diary. On each day I list the medication or the first letter of the name of the medication I need to take in the order I need to take it, then cross it off immediately after I have taken it. It doesn't matter what system you use but you need a system, especially as we get older and our brains become more confused. If you get into a routine it will become automatic and not so much of a chore and you are less likely to make mistakes.
    31st Aug 2016
    I don't think there is any doubt that there is over prescribing going on. I would suggest this is partly due to the fact that people expect to get a prescription every time they see a doctor. In many cases drug free help is available but people won't take it e.g. exercise is just as (or even more) effective as painkillers for arthritis for example. But it is easier to pop a pill than get out and walk for an hour. Doctors are also in a position of prescribing more and more drugs to offset any side effects of the original drug that may once have been necessary but maybe no longer required except for the habit of taking it. RACGP are also starting a push for doctors to wean patients off drugs they may no longer need. For many people their drug regimens are never properly reviewed and add those drugs to OTC medications and other remedies people buy and there is a clear recipe for disaster in some cases.
    Tom Tank
    31st Aug 2016
    You are correct here KSS as too many people expect a pill will fix their problem and that is associated with most doctors not being interested in alternate treatments.
    The medical profession have a tendency to either use chemicals, ie prescribe a medication, or cut something out of the body.
    Preventive medicine lags along way back in our treatment priorities yet is cheaper than what is happening now.
    There is also a believe that a person should not suffer any pain at all but given the passage of the years mild pain becomes almost inevitable but provided it can be coped with taking a pill can be counterproductive as over time that pill can become ineffective.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2016
    I remember my kids used to say they were sick and couldn't go to school so I used to give them a "pill" and off they happily went. I also think a lot of adults also think that the pill the doc gave them fixed them too.

    Pain is a symptom that something is wrong so taking a pill may do more harm than good. A headache may just be your body telling you you are dehydrated so a glass of water and lie down may be all you need. So the water and the lie down were the cure not the Bex.

    My cholesterol was a bit high so I was told I needed pills to fix it. I told the doc that all I needed was a change of diet instead. So I changed my diet and went back a month later. The doctor told me to continue taking the pills even though things were back to normal. I didn't tell him I have never taken the pills.

    As we get old we all get more aches and pains so all I find I need to do is do things differently instead.
    31st Aug 2016
    As a nurse, I know that this has been happening for ages and is easily done especially by those living alone and fairly elderly.
    31st Aug 2016
    I hardly think those aged between 30 and 59 are 'fairly elderly'! Given this is the age where most overdoses occur there has to be something more than the perception of some sort of age based senility.
    31st Aug 2016
    Also in pharmacists who often make mistakes in dispensing privately as well as to hositals and aged care facilities!
    31st Aug 2016
    I just have to wonder how many of "the number of Australians dying from overdoses in their 50s and 60s has tripled" because of the unavailability of assisted euthanasia in Australia.
    31st Aug 2016
    Yep Juris, I'd say you're on the case there, tx. Regards the comment re "dying with dignity" - where or when a person has administered themselves lethally, then I'd suggest this may well be their last dignified act. Some of us can accept and face the facts whilst others elect to run as fast as possible. They do not however out run the terrible reaper.
    Young Simmo
    31st Aug 2016
    I thought I might throw this in to see what other people think.
    Somebody I know decided that because our GUTLESS / USELESS Politicians don't care about anybody but them selves, he is going to do it himself. Say good by to this cruel world that is. After many years on 40 mg Oxy-Contin tablets (Opioids) 3 times per day. He has accumulated a spare one and a half packets (42 tabs), and when he reckons it is time, off he goes. It's a pity he has to do it this way but says, and is cheaper than going to Sweden and it is 100% the politicians fault.
    31st Aug 2016
    You are spot-on Young Simmo - it's sad that us oldies have to do things like that instead of dying with dignity.
    31st Aug 2016
    You are working on one wrong assumption. Its accidental. We have now reached an era where doctors can keep us alive "at all cost". Sometimes people make their own choice about quality of life.
    31st Aug 2016
    Well there you go. After decades we find out that our trust in doctors is not ironclad and their often limited understanding of what they prescribe needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
    On a slight digression I ended up rebelling against so called safe (sandwich) spreads some years ago and went back to butter, which we use sparingly unless cooking. The jury is still out but since that time I have heard so many reports about populations who eat high fat and do not have blocked arteries. And now we are seeing so many other myths debunked as well.
    I have held concerns for some time that what we eat and the medicines we are told we need to take have been driven by big business interests trying to make a buck rather than what is good for us and I feel more comfortable about my belief that plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables + exercise and physical work are the fountains of youth, not drugs.
    Thanks Amelia. I have given you a bit of stick about some of your article but this one is on the money. Well done.
    31st Aug 2016
    I think that the jury has decided now for quite some time that butter if great and margarine (and many of the cheap cooking oils) is "literally" plastic. Canola is "Just Evil & Highly toxic"!!!!!
    The Cartels Corporations have just not told us as the profit margins for CRAP is just better!!!

    Butter contains Medium Chain Fatty acids and - as long as the animals are fed an organic (all grass) diet without the supplementation of antibiotics.
    Liver & Gallbladder health is important for digesting any fats (except for coconut oil which does not need bile to be digested) including butter.
    For excellent spreading properties straight out of the fridge mix (stick Blender) a good quality olive oil with butter at the ratio of 50/50.
    31st Aug 2016
    Pill popping is an industry - promoted by the medical practitioners at the behest of the Pharma giants - and underwritten by the Federal Health Authority's pharma benefits scheme.
    Everyone's a winner: the Quacks get a kick back, the oldies get a fix and the Feds merely deliver on the promises made to the pharma lobby and their associated 'donations'.

    Surely I'm not the only person to have witnessed oldies that proudly line their meds up for all and sundry to admire, I've even overheard them boast numbers to one another. A veritable recipe for disaster no less.

    Let's face it , genuine cases aside, far too many oldies thrive on the attention received at the hands of the quacks. Why wouldn't they when the Govt covers the bulk of costs. Cast your minds back to the recent suggestion re co-contribute as a means of reducing the cost of this burden to society, oh my but weren't the lamentations then both loud and legion. Nowadays, a mere sniffle, sneeze or sore throat immediately requires a visit to the quack. Just try to make an appointment, only to be told 'unless it's an emergency no Dr's available for X days (sometimes as many as 14 days). If and when you're fortunate enough to score a spot then attendance at the surgery is met by a multitude of Aileens, Illeans , Barts, farts, malingerers, hypochondriacs and psychosomatic victims of some rare malaise - aging; (this group collectively referred to nowadays by impertinent, savvy and healthy youth, as 'oxygen thieves').
    Of course the flip side may well be that of the total number of deaths - as the result of overdose - how many of these may have been self inflicted for one reason or another ?
    It may be a wild guess, but I doubt we'll ever know.

    Although I fear the Sword of Damocles above my head, I vaguely recall, at the very least Old Geezer may have mentioned (that) he doesn't pop pills and maybe, just maybe, Bonny might have alluded to the same claim also some time past ?
    31st Aug 2016
    The - in my opinion - severe penalty paid is that they might have extended years. Even life extension due to better medicine is debatable though.
    However, my definition of life is that it must have quality as a 1st priority rather than quantity.
    Taking 20 or more years to die (as we currently seem to) without dignity and, at the same time, be an enormous burden on your family is not my desire.
    Death holds no fear - 20 years to die does!!!!!

    When I was a youngster, most oldies died within a few weeks from an illness they did not know they had. No alzheimers than!
    They also - generally - died in their 80s.

    The Life expectancy we hear the "Profession" howling about these days is because of the Lack of Infancy death" before the age of 6.
    These days, such "Natural Selection" has "Gone-by-the-Board".
    Just rest assured that I am not suggesting for ONE minute that we should just "Let them Die" and that the current situation of preserving life is incorrect.
    All I'm pointing out that due to the lack of "Early life" death, the average lifespan data has certainly improved!

    As an example, I was from a family of 12 where 4 did not make it past 5 years old. I should not have either which would have made 5 out of 12 or a survival rate of less than 60%!!!!!!
    Winters in Europe are cold and - obviously - lend themselves to ample "Cuddling Up" sessions.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2016
    I agree quality of life is far more important than quantity of life. I have seen many people live way beyond where they would naturally but with a poor quality of life. I have also seen babies live who should have been allowed to die at birth. To me that is being nothing but cruel.

    Having survived cancer twice myself I have seen many people die of cancer. Many spending their last days in palliative care dying slowly using bigger and bigger doses of pain killing drugs. That is not for me so I fully support dying with dignity.

    No I don't pop any pills so it was very difficult for me to accept chemotherapy to treat my latest cancer. Due to my body not being exposed to any poisons my immune system went into overdrive with each treatment and I had many trips to hospital in ambulances. When my organs started to fail they decided that if they continued the treatment it would kill me.

    I haven't popped any pills since they stopped that treatment a few years ago now.
    31st Aug 2016
    My 85 year old sister almost died recently after being very ill for months and being hospitalised 3 times. She was on 11 different medications, each new one apparently being given to suppress side effects of previous ones. A new younger doctor said she was at death's door and took her off all medication. Within a week she was recovering and is now reasonably well and only on one medication.
    I myself almost died from the side effects of a very common medicine, ranitidine , about 13 years ago, Apparently 1 in 100,000 can have a severe side effect and 1 in 10,000,000 can have the number of severe side effects I experienced. Three specialists and numerous tests could not find any answers. It was only when I chanced upon something on the Johns Hopkins Hospital site in America that I decided to stop the medication and within a week I began to recover. Doctors should become more aware of side of common medicines, even if only a small minority may suffer from them.
    31st Aug 2016
    My wife bought me a plastic pill dispenser which has 14 compartments, labelled by day, and morning and night. When she gave it to me several years ago, I said "I don't need that, it is for old people !!"
    Now I use it all the time reloading every compartment once a week and you cant miss or double up on the correct medication.
    My wife was a little ahead as usual.
    1st Sep 2016
    That is one system that works very well retroy.

    Dad used it for years to avoid missing pills or confusion.

    When he was very old and ill we paid a fee to have the chemist supply all the pills in a weekly dosage package.

    It was the same principle but the chemist organised it and a weekly sheet arrived with the dosages already sorted for each day and time period.

    I'm fortunate not to need pills yet and hope that can continue as I have an immune system that takes exception to most things artificial.

    The couple of times I did try antibiotics in my youth ended up with hospital admissions. Penicillin almost did me in completely and the second ended with hospital for suspected hepatitis and everyone undergoing blood tests. Fortunately there was no permanent liver damage.

    After that my doctor seems prepared not to use pills in treatment and we haven't needed them.

    Another great thing about those pill containers is that you only have to undo sometimes quite difficult bottles once a week.

    Lucky having such a sensible wife.
    1st Sep 2016
    Fascinating how OUR medical system can find "Ways around" pills when this is essential!?!?!?!

    I personally think that you're - in one way - a lucky person to avoid all the toxic medications & their associated side affects.
    You might not live longer but - I believe - you'll have enhanced quality.

    I have compassion for your immune problem though!
    Hope you keep well.
    31st Aug 2016
    Eh gad.....I am getting crooker by the minute reading all of the above. Think I'll go have another apple and orange (pill). Cheers.
    31st Aug 2016
    But Mick, careful with the fruit - I'm only allowed one medium sized piece of fruit per day - fruit has got a mile of suger in it. Ah well, back to the pills - not the suger ones
    31st Aug 2016
    Understand. Sugar (not refined white sugar) is a necessary part of any diet though as the body needs sugar to produce energy? It's the balance which is all important as well as a bit of everything.
    Take care with the pills Juris. They will kill you methinks.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2016
    Mick even white sugar is OK if you don't consume too much of it.
    1st Sep 2016
    Oh Mick, it'll take more than two (of your) lines to convince me you're a crook. I won't accept that you're the only bad apple in the barrel, after all we are comparing apples with apples are we not ? Forget the pill, just keep the comments coming - it keeps your mind active.
    31st Aug 2016
    My medicine cabinet certainly is as safe as it looks. It is, has been and will remain empty!!!!
    I suppose I was lucky to have received the sustenance of high quality “Home Grown” produce until the age of 18 when I “Flew the coop” and started, in varying (Interluded with periods of HIGH) degrees, abusing my body for the next 55 years.
    This Home Grown dietary “Start in Life, I believe has provided this “Old Body” with a “Sound foundation for Basic health” which, unfortunately, is generally lacking in young kids these days as almost all of them are “Reared on Plastic foods” which is consumed from toxin laden packaging.

    For the last 10 years of those 55, various doctors were looking to negotiate my health problems but failed to identify them due to what I currently consider (after becoming very conversant with Dr. Google) ignorance & incompetence.
    As I told them then: “My health problems are not caused by a shortage of pills”.
    This proved to be correct when the real problem suddenly manifested itself some 3 ½ years ago and confirmed that all the drugs they were attempting to “put down my throat” would not have provided a cure. In fact these drugs would, almost certainly, have aggravated the situation drastically and, if I was still alive today, would have added many layers of complexity.
    On the other hand, the medical fees claimed and the revenue from pharmaceuticals would have provided ample revenue to those who are deceiving us.

    At the moment, once again growing my own organic veggies, I am still fixing some problems relating to the years of “neglect and stupidly arrogant Abuse to the Body”. Add to this the recovery and negotiating the effects of necessary surgery.

    My supplement cabinet contains a few items in the form of Vit-C (natural – not Ascorbic Acid), MSM, NAC & Selenomune which all contribute to the formation of Glutathione (Being the pre cursors) in order to keep reducing some lingering small problems and promoting health to ensure the much anticipated arrival of a telegram from this “Old Lady” in the UK. .

    My current doctor (after quite a number of changes) works WITH & FOR me and provides me with copies of tests for scrutiny & cross reference with Dr. Google. Rather than feeling rather insecure by TELLING me what to do, she discusses the issues and is helpful to adopt holistic approaches.
    She, whilst informing me (as she suggests is essential for her to retain her medical accreditation) of the “Drug Happy” solutions as pushed by OUR government(s) & Medical Industry, ensures that the tests I request are performed in order to ensure that progress is made with the few remaining issues.

    My current Blood Pressure & Flow to the extremities of the body is as good as that of an 18 year old. Nutrient & ALL other matters usually monitored via urine & blood analysis are very comfortably measuring well within the recommended range.

    I am assuring that the “Clowns in Canberra” will have me as part of Their payroll for many years yet! OOPS, is that a drone I hear buzzing around the house???

    I have provided a link to an article which has data to suggest that: ”Conventional Medicine is the Leading Cause of Death” in the “Good-Old UsofA” and I am convinced that this situation is not much better in Australia.
    I comprehend that the interpretation of the data set used is not “Quite as Clear Cut” as the writer assumes. HOWEVER, there is no doubt that the points made are VERY VALID!!!!
    That’s why my medicine cabinet will remain VOID until the day I die!
    31st Aug 2016
    I am in your camp Patriot. Also grow a limited number of veges and fruit and supplement with bought items. We try and avoid processed food (the scourge of the 21 st century) and stay with home made food. More nourishing, fresher and tastes better.
    I'll let you know if I am still kicking in 30 years as this is the litmus test.
    Vitamin C: oranges? Tomatoes? One of our staples! Who needs to pop pills.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2016
    The problem with all these poisons is that for so called relief you have to give something back in the way of side effects.

    My pill cabinet is also secure and safe as it is also empty.
    31st Aug 2016
    Michael Pollan suggests that: "If it has a Bar Code, don't Buy & Eat it".
    Not easy 100% but has "Massive merit".
    31st Aug 2016
    Like it Patriot.

    31st Aug 2016
    Thankfully we have a good doctor who takes the time to explain medication if a new one is needed. He also reinforces warnings when refilling a prescription. I have an issue with the pharmacy which my pharmacist of 35 years sold to a group which uses very young pharmacists. I asked why the warning stickers are no longer there (take with food, may cause drowsiness etc) and she advised that she doesn't have to do that, it's up to me to be aware by reading the pamphlets supplied.
    Old Geezer
    31st Aug 2016
    It is not making any sense to me that the number of middle aged men dying from accidental overdoses has skyrocketed. I am asking is the word "accidental" really what is happening.
    5th Sep 2016
    My brother died last year from toxic overload from the cocktail of medication he was prescribed by a doctor (was on his coroners report). He was 58. It was not accidental. I believe that some doctors just don't care what they prescribe and how much, making money is more important. I recently watched a documentary about a town in USA about how more than half the town is addicted to oxy-contin check out 'Oxyana' the pharmeucital companies are laughing all the way to the bank. Sadly it is happening here to.
    31st Aug 2016
    Overdose is not difficult to imagine if the person has chronic pain, in particular chronic nerve pain originating from the nervous system in the brain or elsewhere.
    When that type of pain starts and runs 24hrs a day and 7 days a week, a person will do anything to make the pain stop including taking any amount of medication.

    I have had a 24hr pain protection medication programme for nerve pain, for the past 10years.
    I take Tramadol and Gabapentin but I would have taken oxycontin if they were permitted to give it at that time. As things were it took 4 years to get on top of the pain with my medication.

    The risk of suicide in the first year of it was very high, not by overdose of medication but something more violent just to stop the pain. Also there is the fear of being put in a mental institution and fed brain damaging drugs until you don't know who you are anymore.

    Mental Health institutions can be a bit of an alternative when doctors have something they don't know how to treat.

    If I could have got my hands on a drug that i was sure of doing the job, I would have suicided just to get some peace.
    Young Simmo
    31st Aug 2016
    Boy after reading all the Goody-Goody comments about not taking medication is best, all I can say is, enjoy your short trip suckers.
    My father died on his 43rd birthday of a heart attack. I am still cruising along at 76 and enjoying my trip complete with my bucket full of daily tablets.
    The choice is yours, be a hero and preach Bullsh*t, or take your tabs and be happy.
    OK, come and get me.
    1st Sep 2016
    Just because you're entitled to have & express you opinion does not - in any way - prove for "One Minute" that you're correct.

    Just be happy with "Your Pills" and rest assured that if they plant you - as opposed to "Putting you up the chimney" - when the time comes you're at least assured that even the worms will have a problem with those pills as they'll see some of their mates die before they "wisen up" and and stop eating.

    I suppose that is One Way of making a difference even when you're dead !?!?!?!?!?!?

    Rest assured that your Bullshit does not baffle me and I'm sure that others will feel the same!
    1st Sep 2016
    Young Simmo, I doubt anyone is "preach(ing) Bullshit" it seems simply to be their claim to survival sans pills. Whether or not their trip IS short, certainly doesn't make them "suckers" either. You, or they, may not be around to crow and say 'told you so'.
    My point being: by all means continue to pop your pills if that is your poison - this may ensure your continued contribution to this site, HOWEVER maybe a little less personal invective MAY score you some small degree of goodwill from your fellow posters.

    Patriot, a well put counter to YS's provocation, thanks.
    1st Sep 2016
    Even though opposing other's opinions, when put in an non-provocative manner it must & hopefully will be treated with the respect it deserves.
    We may oppose some other people's opinions but should fight to ensure that they have the opportunity to express it.
    After all, at times, there may be some (or a lot) of grain(s) of truth in it when the brain is finished "milling it over".
    Thanks for your input!
    1st Sep 2016
    You're a man of letters Patriot, no less. I concur wholeheartedly. Regardless of how any contribution is posted, be it grammatically correct, free of typo's & so on & so forth, I'm sure most folk 'on-site' feel far more comfortable dealing with peers showing some respect and thereby encouraging input as opposed to being held to ridicule and made feel inferior. I've long wondered what prompts some folk to stoop all too readily to 'sling off'. Maybe it's the easy way out, it does after all save applying some thought to a considered response.
    Thanks again.
    Young Simmo
    1st Sep 2016
    Patriot and MD, I only give what I get, if you guys are thin skinned that's your problem.
    1st Sep 2016
    Young Simmo,although your assumption, our being "thin skinned" is erroneous: it beats being thick - each and every time.
    Out of consideration for your continued well being I'd suggest re-evaluating the pills as it seems 'what you're getting' is severe side affects hence the negativity you're 'only giving'.
    Apologies to Patriot , whom I'm sure is capable of defending himself.

    Please be assured Young Simmo, that I do enjoy your input - no different to any other - with equanimity.
    1st Sep 2016
    Like MD, I'm certainly not "Thin Skinned". I have been through the mill for too long and at ALL levels & Layers of the Australian & European society!
    We're dead for far too long to worry about "Trivial Crap"!

    Whilst I do not expect everybody to agree with opinions expressed by me &/or others, I do certainly expect some Respect & Courtesy for opposing opinions. After all, I reserve the right to disagree with others and express such disagreement in a courteous manner.

    As I have expressed previously, whilst such may not be comprehended at first, they may be (partly) correct after all! I might just have "Missed a small piece in the puzzle" which makes me consider the issue from a totally different perspective.
    We're all on this planet to "Learn & Experience" and listening to & Considering other people's opinion as Valuable & Valid input is part of these processes.

    "Name Calling" is - generally - not simply fun but has the potential to be degrading & borders on Bullying!
    It should have no place in a rational debate and exchange of opinions.
    After all, "exchange of opinions" is what, I thought, was the main purpose of forums such as this!?
    Young Simmo
    1st Sep 2016
    The bottom line is I am very happy with my lot, thanks to modern medical science and procedures etc. Triple Bypass and Total Knee Replacement, and 33 years past my father's 43 years, so I'll stick with my tabs, and 4 cans and 2 reds per day.
    1st Sep 2016
    Nobody is suggesting that you change those habits/attitudes (?)
    You're happy with them - Keep doing what you're doing.

    That is, as long as these actions do not hurt anybody else now or in the future.
    This should be the only limitation placed on your/our personal expression of "Free Will".

    However, within those same limitations, DO NOT limit me &/or others via ANY mechanism which does not extend Courtesy & Respect!
    2nd Sep 2016
    Admire your fortitude Young Simmo, "4 cans, 2 reds a day" , enjoy em whilst you can. Comparitively speaking, I'm silly enough as it is & therefore limit myself to the 2 reds, 'better red than dead'. Cheers.
    5th Sep 2016
    Doctors are not chemists, but are allowed to prescribe medication willy nilly. They don't actually know enough about what is in the pills. Ask a chemist for more information. Change of labeling is not going to help, not many people bother to read them or understand them. Doctors need to be more accountable for the amount they prescribe, a limit must be set and they need to keep track of a person going from one doctor to another. They are selling pill these days not just illegal drugs.

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