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Vicodin and Duct Tape


bradgphilbrick@gmail.com
My years working in pharmacy, two products standout as leaders, they are the proverbial glue that holds us together, and for many they cannot live without either.  What are these two valued products, these essential life entities for so many humans?  It is Vicodin and duct tape!

Duct tape or duck tape?  If we go back to its origins, we call it duck tape.  The original silver cloth adhesive was developed during World War II.  The tape resisted water and was used as a sealant to protect ammuntion cases.  Soldiers called it duck tape as water rolled off much like “water off a duck’s back.”

Soon after the war duck tape was sold in hardware stores for household repairs.  Duct tape found its way into construction for wrapping air ducts.  Thus, then it became known as duct tape.

One evening I was working in my home office, and my son appeared.  He had a look of happiness and accomplishment.  “Dad!  Wanna see what I made?,” he quipped.

“Sure!,” was my reply.  He proudly presented me his duct tape wallet that he had crafted.  I was impressed.  It was a trifold variety.  It was functional, all the features of a cowhide leather billfold.  It was cool.

Duct tape has hit the pop culture.  There is colored duct tape, patterned and designer.  A plethora of uses for duct tape has been created; make a pencil case, a game boy or cell phone case, a backpack, flowers, and a baseball cap.

Vicodin is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen for the treatment of moderate to moderately severe pain.  Hydrocodone is one of several drugs in a class known as opioids or narcotics.

It is the number one dispensed prescription in the United States.

Many have taken hydrocodone on a short term basis for relief of pain after surgery or an injury, the intended use.  Many also take hydrocodone in presecribed liquid formulations for relief of cough.

I attempt to show compassion for my patients when it comes to pain.  Chronic pain, that is the nagging continuous pain, is a challenge.  What does one do when ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen doesn’t seem to help?  The patient then gets a prescription for hydrocodone; it provides relief.  They use up their refills, and tell their physician they need another prescription.  They become hooked.  I see them come in month after month for their hydrocodone.  What is a health care professional to do?  Then there is not only concern of addiction, but the long term effects of acetaminophen…acetaminophen induced hepatoxicity.  Another words long term use causes liver damage.

OK, back to duct tape.  There are studies on the use of duct tape for wart removal.  I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting this or condoning it; there is no substantial proof for its effectiveness.  The wart treatment has a name…Duct Tape Occlusion Therapy or DTOT.

Is it no wonder that I come to this absurd and off the wall idea, that all you need is Vicodin and duct tape?