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The similarities between drug dealers and doctors are striking. They make a really good living, deal with a fair share of risk, need a bit of an appointment before they see you, keep your relationship with them confidential and spend the least amount of time with you as possible during your visit…

But here’s where it gets interesting.

A drug dealer is generally backed by a high and powerful group; perhaps even dangerous to mess with in some cases. You have no idea how connected your drug dealer is and how much money his group has, or how valuable he is to them. Nor do you have any idea the lengths they’d go through to ensure you neither rat him out to the police or in any way, shape or form bring them negative attention…

The good doctor [can be] backed by multi-million dollar pharmaceutical companies along with the government, ensuring that you don’t miss work while continuing to consume products you don’t need and food that isn’t good for you, while being able to perform 40-80 hour work weeks as you cope with all the different types of stress that life has to offer. God forbid your medication messes-up your brain to the point you’d have a nervous breakdown and do something stupid. No worries. They got back up. If you have mental health issues your actions will be written off as a result of your mood disorder—not their medication.

The faster your drug dealer turns over product the more they both make money. There are incentives for your doctor to write more prescriptions. Key word: Compensation.

Your drug dealer has great product. If his product is shit, you go elsewhere.

A doctor’s meds are effective and he’s got a variety to choose from—plus there’s always adjusting the dosages in a variety of ways. If all of the combinations fail and you can still function—and somehow you’re not addicted yet, your last resort may be to consider an alternative approach like exercise, nutrition and natural supplements.

A drug dealer genuinely wants you to feel better. A doctor sincerely wants you to get better.

Most drug dealers don’t use drugs, though. They know they’re not good for you and it’s not good for business. Most doctors wouldn’t use meds; they know ALL ABOUT the side-effects.

I couldn’t help thinking it was appropriate to write about this, especially with the recent investigations that were posted on the front page of the Toronto Star on Thursday September 11th 2014 and Tuesday September 16th 2014. But I almost said, “fuck it. No one really cares about doctors burning the evidence of defective drugs in order to get them on the market for pharmaceutical companies, or, not bothering to share the bad news of side effects once they’re readily available…” until a few days later when I got really upset. And no, not because doctors buried the results of Autistic kids getting sick from some of the drugs doctors prescribed to them—but something even worse and actually more random.

A couple days ago my co-worker was playing a song I used to hear as a kid: “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley. It was a favorite I never knew the name of, or who it was by until now. Anyway, for the last two days this song has been on heavy repeat; I am absolutely obsessed with it for now—but obviously won’t be for long.

Anywho, watching the music video allowed me to see Elvis in his glory: 35-years-old, in his prime, performing, looking amazing, having so much swag and charm, and showing off how unbelievably talented, gifted and blessed he was. Then it occurred to me that Elvis was definitely someone that I missed out on, but fortunately I had Michael Jackson, whom my older sister named me after.

So, there I was, just sitting at work, grooving, listening to Elvis, intermittently watching the video over and over again, when I impulsively decided to look into how he died. I remember hearing or seeing that he gained some weight and had a heart-attack. But I wasn’t sure of all the details.

When I looked into Elvis’s death I became infuriated. So upset I almost flipped over my desk and tore down my cubicle while contemplating the thought of throwing my chair through the window!!! Here are the two tidbits that sum up the information, both the beginning and the tragic end.

1. “Elvis had a history of disrupted sleep, sleepwalking and nightmares going back to childhood. It intensified after the death of his mother and after he was drafted into the army in 1957…”

Not that I know anything, but it sounds like some sort of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to me.

2. “The Medical Board heard evidence of astounding volumes of prescriptions written by Dr Nick. Between 1975 and 1977, he had prescribed 19,000 doses of drugs. In the first eight months of 1977 alone, he had written 199 prescriptions totaling more than 10,000 doses of sedatives, amphetamines and narcotics: all in Elvis’s name (that’s 40 doses a day!). The board found him guilty of over-prescription, but decided that his actions were not unethical. They suspended his license to practice medicine for three months and put him on three years’ probation.” Read more here.

And just like that I was discouraged, disheartened and depressed by the fact that Elvis died from drugs he received from his doctor. Then like connecting the dots, I remember how incredibly dismal I was five years ago on the day that Michael Jackson died—so much so that I made a call to my drug dealer…breaking a long streak of sobriety, way before I knew the truth about mental health and addiction.

I didn’t think much about the public trying to take down Michael Jackson’s doctor back then; I figured it was just to blame somebody for such a horrific and immeasurable lost. But now I believe it was justice. For a very long time, Michael Jackson was administered and prescribed an assortment of drugs by a doctor. Michael Jackson’s doctor left him alone with a really potent drug nicknamed “Milk of Amnesia” that ultimately ended his life.

A pair of Aces took out a pair of Kings…and the world lost the two most talented, beloved and inspiring icons to have ever walked the earth.

And here we are scratching our heads as we’ve come to the conclusion that we’re on the verge of losing a whole generation to an addiction of prescription drugs.

When do we maybe try our hand at a different game; one where aces are limited to just being “ones” and don’t have the same capability to kill kings, corrupt queens, and ‘jack’ all the average people trying to cope with chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, stress, depression, mania, and all their attempts made at pushing their body’s and their brains passed what they’re safely capable of. A game where aces don’t combine with ‘Jokers’ for unimaginable monster hands that cause catastrophes like mass shootings, where a person with mental health issues has been over-prescribed and under-supervised in an effort to normalize their thoughts, sensations and emotions.

I’m not writing this to dump a display of disdain on pharmaceutical companies, prescription drugs and the doctors that over-prescribe them. They’re dealing with the pressure of a society that desperately wants to feel better and do more. I’m just saying that it’s such a dangerous game we play when there’s still too much ignorance out there that suggest the following:

If it taste good, it must be good for you.

And if you get it from a doctor, it must be safe…

Aces & Kings.

About Mickey Von Bron

Mickey Von Bron is a certified personal trainer who specializes in nutrition, supplements and natural methods of improving health and wellness. Having experienced and overcome many obstacles associated with mental health and addiction, he is committed to inspiring people through his own example. His first book, Drug Free June: A Hypomanic Episode, is soon to be published. You can read some of Mickey’s other writing about mental health at AliveAndAwake.ca and Light Way of Thinking.