Over the summer, I worked in a pharmacy near my house. Everyday, it was the same routine of filling prescriptions and answering the phone. The job was dull, the pay was decent, and the customers were demanding. However, working in the pharmacy was an experience I will never forget. I got to feed people’s addictions, soothe their ailments, and heal their sicknesses. Working so close with people in such a vulnerable state, gave me the opportunity to see human nature in its weakest form and gave me a sense of purpose and control.
Little Bobby needed his prescription to heal his cold. Sally came in once a week for pills to help her sleep. Ellen stopped in every other week to fill her son’s prescription to treat his skin cancer. They all came to me in their time of need and trusted me to give them the drugs they thought they needed. I found some of the customers were addicted to sleeping pills, Valium, or Prozac. They never noticed it, but I did. They waited, anxiously tapping their fingers on the countertop or watching each move I made, just so they can feel the relief of having a full bottle of their drug in their hands. I was the key to their well being and the salvation of their pain. It was sad to see how many drugs there were behind the counter and how many people needed each drug.
What I gained from working at the pharmacy was a depressing understanding of how dependant people are on drugs. Even though we sold only legal drugs, they were drugs just the same. Pharmaceuticals are no different from cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs by the addiction and euphoric effect they create. Our society has formed a deep dependency on them and they have become a necessity to living. When really all they do is numb the pain.
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