Creating An Addict

They come into hospital
nervous, uncertain,
and in this strange environment
have difficulty sleeping.

We don’t want to be bothered
by non-sleeping patients
so suggest they would benefit
from sleeping pills.

They sleep better the second night
– they would have anyway –
but we don’t tell them that,
just dispense sleepers every night.

When they go home,
cured or not from original problem,
they take with them
a prescription for sleeping tablets.

We are a nation becoming
addicted to pills.
And yet we wonder
who is to blame.


19 Responses to “Creating An Addict”

  1. Hi David,

    excellent poem. When I was in hospital, the nurses kept walking in the room at night to ask if I wanted a sleeping pill. If they hadn’t, I might have slept a bit! This last time, they didn’t ask if I wanted a sleeping pill, but now they wanted me to take huge amounts of painkillers. Not having pain is better for healing, so they claim. I finally took the pills just to get some peace, but they would come back a little later!

    There are other ways to deal with insomnia perhaps than pills as they cause more problems. To sleep, I find it better not to do any computering in the evening, and walking every day helps too! Sleep is important, not sleeping for more than 5 nights on a row is a scare of mine. Having anesthetics also works, I sleep a lot better for a while after surgery! lol

    Arohanui 🙂

    • Hi Ina,

      I too suffer from time to time with insomnia – and 4:00 o’clock in the morning can be a very difficult place! I tend to lie in bed and read when I cannot sleep as much to pass the time as anything else!!

      I am not suggesting that there are not times and people who need the help of sleeping tablets but it should always be a short term solution and they should be used with care.

      Look after yourself


  2. Second try!

    I really like this and its so true.

    I won’t take sleeping tablets; I tried them once and they had such an awful effect on me. Even when I have been in hospital I refused them. It is a difficult one though because sleep deprivation can be debilitating. I suspect I wasn’t very popular with the hospital staff who often ended up making me cups of tea!

    They are also so easily prescribed by GPs too as a repeat prescription. I know quite a few people who have taken them for years and say they couldn’t manage without them.

    Keep your supply of easy reading to hand! 🙂

    Love you loads



    • Second try worked!! 🙂

      I won’t take them either Christine.

      But I can get nervous sometimes if I know I don’t have a book available for such purpose – the sleepless nights are unpredictable in their arrival!!

      If I am absolutely stuck I have most of the ‘Modesty Blaise’ books available. They are wonderfully escapist thrillers, probably the best in the world. I have read them all before but that does not stop me enjoying them again.

      Look after yourself

      Love you loads

  3. Yes, pills aren’t the answer to everything. Well thought out & portrayed (:

  4. A problem everywhere, I wouldn’t take them anyway when I had my bypass, or pain meds, they really get pissed when questioned. Anyone who has ever been addicted to anything, knows what a problem this can be! Spot on, and a great write.. Hugs, Sandy

    • It is worrying Sandy to discover the same problem in your country as in mine.

      All we can do is keep talking about it and hope to educate.
      But, in my experience, too few people want to listen – the power of ignorance prior to investigation!!!

      Warm hugs to you


  5. An important observation. And in the meantime, over here, pharmaceutical companies work with doctors to peddle their drugs, and the taxpayer supports the addictions. We use pharmaceuticals to prop ourselves up and convince ourselves that we are immortal.

  6. Very true, there’s way too much emphasis on curing inconviences and not nearly enough time spent on curing illness…much enjoyed…

  7. Sad and so imbecilic.

  8. Well, David, on Wednesday they will put me well and away asleep for awhile. Then they’ll put me on the way home even though it’s a two hour drive, and the drive will not be fun if the last time I went through cancer surgery is any measure of what it will be like this time. I won’t, unless complications sit in, have to deal with a hospital room and the unfamiliar, uncomfortable environment created by them.
    Still, I celebrate today and the day after surgery. The pharmaceutical companies can have the pharmacopia of poisons and cures as long as I have a few more days when snow dances in sunny winds on the Zuni Mountains behind our house, creating sculptures of shapes that twist and turn into a blur of arabesques.
    I wish you well, my friend, and love that you are railing against the Behemoth of Drugland. May your poetry always reach into the song of being and plainly say what ought to be said.

    • I hope Tom that you are home safe now and on a road to recovery.

      Sorry for the tardiness of my reply, but I am on here much less frequently than I was before

      My very best wishes to both you and Ethel


  9. Ah, and thought the U.S. was alone in ths.

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