‘What I’m doing has to be done’

Rosie Mullaley
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HMP psychiatrist makes no apologies for his methods, says drugs are over-prescribed

For years, he’s been slammed by patients, their families, lawyers and other members of the public.

Rosie Mullaley/The Telegram
Dr. David Craig told The Telegram in an interview Tuesday that some doctors in this province are over-diagnosing their patients and over-prescribing drugs.

Often painted as the heartless doctor who regularly takes away inmates’ psychiatric medications at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP), Dr. David Craig has come under heavy fire in the past decade.

His methods and highly conservative opinion on the use of psychiatric drugs at the prison have been called into question many times.

As the complaints piled up, so did the media stories, highlighting the various instances in which inmates claim to have suffered badly after being taken off medications that had been prescribed by other psychiatrists and physicians.

Follow up:

Lawyer, mental-health advocate says another psychiatrist should be hired to work with Craig

Craig’s service even prompted a call to action by the citizens’ representative in 2011 and a peer review in 2012.

It’s been a lot to take for the 60-year-old. Now, he’s speaking out.

Now that his article, “Swimming Against the Tide — Restricting Prescribing Practices in a Prison: A Personal Journey,” has been published in last month’s edition of the Canadian Journal of Addiction (CJA), Craig feels free enough to talk about his practices publicly and to respond to all the criticism.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegram Tuesday afternoon, Craig expressed his frustration with the overwhelming public bashing.

“It’s been a long, hard haul,” he said. “Oh, I tell you, I was extremely upset. Quite frankly, I thought to myself, why the hell am I doing this? I feel very strong that what I’m doing has to be done. I absolutely do (care about the well-being of the prisoners).”

Craig makes no apologies for the way he does things and says some doctors over-diagnose and over-prescribe medications to patients.

“We clearly have a prescription drug problem in this province,” he said. “And who’s writing the prescriptions?

“I would wager that 95 per cent of the prescription drugs that hit the street get there by way of legitimately written prescriptions.

“There’s something going on.”

And it was going on at HMP, too, he said.

Craig said he was an intern when he first noticed the over-prescription of psychiatric drugs at the prison in 1986. He said most inmates were seen weekly and were prescribed benzodiazepines (valium-like drugs) and HS sedatives (sleeping pills) for extended periods, “despite their recognized abuse potential and their indication for short-term use.

“I was concerned the medications were being handed out a little bit more frequently than what I thought was appropriate,” said Craig, adding that the drugs do more harm than good to many inmates who already have substance-abuse disorders. “You can’t say anything as a trainee, so, of course, I didn’t.”

But years later, he did.

In 1999, Craig was asked to take over the psychiatric practice at HMP, but he said before he did, he reminded Marvin McNutt — the director of adult corrections at the time — that his approach to prescribing psychotropic medications was conservative and that he should expect to get complaints.

If I’m doing anything like people think I’m doing, I would not have had 35 complaints dismissed. Dr. David Craig

“‘You can either (go) with me or you can fire me.’ That’s exactly what I said,” Craig said with a chuckle.

As part of his practice, Craig said, he gradually eliminates what he considers “unnecessary” drugs, previously prescribed by other doctors, such as Dr. Nizar Ladha, one of the province’s top psychiatrists.

“We simplified things very carefully over time and we noticed things gradually got a lot better over time,” said Craig, who admits he and Ladha don’t see eye to eye in regards to prescribing drugs.

He said the adjustment in medications are not difficult for inmates, since it is gradual.

Despite criticisms, a peer review in 2012 found Craig meets the standards of care in the psychiatric services he provides to inmates.

In all, he said, 35 complaints were made about him to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador.

All were dismissed.

“If I’m doing anything like people think I’m doing, I would not have had 35 complaints dismissed,” he said.

Craig said what people should be appalled by is the over-diagnosis of mental illness in this province.

“A lot of these depression and bipolar diagnoses are highly questionable,” said Craig, adding that inmates diagnosed with depression are often merely stressed by the circumstances of their lives.

“There’s a huge over-call out there — every time someone’s unhappy, they’re depressed, every time they’re having trouble controlling their temper, they’re bipolar.

“Bipolar disorder is a very real disorder. Major depression is a very real disorder. But the validity of these diagnoses are highly questionable.”

He said about 85 per cent of inmates have substance-abuse disorder (alcohol or drugs), but only a small percentage — about five per cent — have clinical depression.

“I’m not arguing against drugs. They definitely have a place,” he said. “I am arguing against using a drug to solve a non-drug problem.

“If you’re using a drug to solve a non-drug problem, you’re diverting the person’s energy from addressing the issue to having them sit back and letting the doctor find chemical balance. … Drugs can make you feel half better, but they can stop you from doing the work you have to do to recover.”

He said other things need to be done to help mentally ill patients besides prescribing drugs.

“Mental illness is an awful lot beyond drugs and beyond physicians,” Craig said.

He said there’s a huge need for more addictions 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, and more help for prisoners who are under-educated, and chronically mentally ill people must be given the proper supports to function better in the community.

Craig said he plans to retire in five years, but hopes by that time the environment will have changed regarding drug prescriptions.

“I’ve come under quite a bit of fire,” he said, “but I’m doing what I can to help make things better.”

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Recent comments

  • Eric
    January 08, 2016 - 17:34

    There is no question Dr. Craig what you are doing had to be done and needed to be done for many years now! Thanks for having the compassion and good grace to do it.

  • EDfromRED
    January 08, 2016 - 15:03

    If Dr. Craig is So Brilliant and more Knowledgeable than all the physicians who prescribe these medications, why has he spent practically his whole life practicing in a Third World Facility? I'm surmising Nobody else would take him, and allow his barbaric methods. Only in an out of the way Province like NL, is such backwards and inhumane treatment allowed.

  • Addicted Drug Users are the primary reason for the escalated Crime in our community.
    January 08, 2016 - 11:46

    If you people who are objecting to Dr. Craig's principled approach of getting people off these drugs, you must not have connected the crime in our community to drug use nor the sickness of the person who is doing the crime. I had my house broken into twice in 6 months two years ago by the same person, who I never knew existed, apparently he had broken into several other houses in my area. The person ransacked my house and stole every piece of jewellery I had that had worth, he stole my little steel safe that held all my important documents, including my passports and old coins. The stolen documents caused me untold problems. The policeman who dealt with my issue told me the person who did it was addicted to drugs and he was stealing to feed his drug habit. To this day I feel VIOLATED in every way from these two crimes and my biggest problem from it is the air space in my home is completely polluted and will be forever as long as I live in my house. I am even afraid to walk through my house at night in the dark, I feel the drug afflicted, criminally sick person's presence every time that I walk through my home's air space.

  • Kevin Pasrsley
    January 07, 2016 - 23:44

    totally agree with Dr.Craig on the drug problem. I just admitted my brother in hospital last night because od depression which he has been battling for the past five years. All he does is sleep no motivation to go to work every job he has had in those years he got fired from. He is on some kind of anti depressant pill which isn't helping because he told me all he thinks about is suicide I am very concerned for him. Hopefully he gets the help he needs. I will say I went through depression myself for about two years twenty five years ago although I think mine was more serious. After I retire I moved to Kamloops for a period of time to get into a different career while there I seen a doctor and I have him the name of medication I was taking. He advised me that this pill will kill me if I continued to take them so after a period of six months he took me of that pill. I am doing fine now although I get anxiety attacks mabe once one or two time a year but I learned how to control them pretty much right away. But I can tell you the two years I went through depression I would not wish it on my worse enemy that is how bad it was for me. I am not on any pills for depression and am seventy four years old and working at something I love to do which is taking care as a condo complex for resident that are living on their own and older than I am. I get a small salary for this which is nine hundred a month. A far cry from running a multi million dollar plant and having a salary of around eighty five thousand a year. I am hoping my brother gets the help he needs as time goes on I will be there for him as his treatment progresses. Sincerely Kevin Parsley

  • I'm Very Proud of You Doctor Craig.
    January 07, 2016 - 16:29

    I have been heartened and it appears many others have been, too, over the response to Dr. Craig's principled way of Doctoring. Keep up the GREAT work Good Doctor and people will be singing your praises in the not too distant future.

  • wendy
    January 07, 2016 - 09:27

    Prescription drug abuse is rampant and out of control in our province. That is evident by the increase in armed robberies over the last couple of years. Dr. Craig is on the right track, but more needs to be done. Our government has to get on board and look closely at doctors that are prescribing narcotics frequently to patients. we also need a rehabilitation facility here in the city to help those with addictions get the help they need.

    • angela sullivan
      January 07, 2016 - 13:16

      Well said

  • Trudy
    January 07, 2016 - 08:23

    Thank you Dr. Craig.. If I needed a psychiatrist I would try to see you.

    • What!?!
      January 07, 2016 - 13:41

      I would suggest if you buy the BS that Craig is selling, you are ready to see him now.

    • Emme
      January 08, 2016 - 09:42

      I guess the good doctor took away your meds too, hey "What?!"

  • LF
    January 07, 2016 - 07:05

    There is an old adage that goes, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” It seems that in modern medicine drugs are the solution to everything. This is what doctors are trained to do. Write prescriptions. Big Pharma basically runs the entire medical establishment these days and that includes the institutions of learning. Drugs are often the only tool doctors have in their toolbox and pharmaceutical companies want it this way. Doctors are trained to write prescriptions, they are encouraged to do it as much as possible and they often profit by it. Every so often you are lucky enough find one that is conscientious, knowledgeable and intelligent. It sounds like this doctor is one of those. Is it surprising that you get a lot of complaints when you cut off someone’s supply of highly addictive drugs? Hardly.

  • bpeddle
    January 06, 2016 - 22:32

    Calling into question the practice of many other respected Dr.'s in this province by eliminating what he considers “unnecessary” drugs, previously prescribed by other doctors, such as Dr. Nizar Ladha, one of the province’s top psychiatrists, seems to indicate that Dr. Craig suffers from a GOD complex. In my opinion, taking away someone’s medication without knowing the history of that person is tantamount to flirting with the mental and physical health of a patient who has been under another Dr.'s care. Is it possible that Dr. Craig is not as concerned about the mental and physical wellbeing of inmates as he is about cutting down on the cost to house those inmates? With the high cost of prescription drugs certainly the province would save a nice few $$$ by eliminating drugs that were previously prescribed to inmates.

  • booger
    January 06, 2016 - 19:51

    Yes Sir.

  • J. Taylor
    January 06, 2016 - 19:42

    Much respect to Dr. Craig for having the courage to take the ethical and compassionate path. It is not easy to do what is right when you are facing harsh criticism. That being said, every person who has resisted the status quo has experienced the same. Glad he has been able to come out and share his side of the story. I very much enjoyed his insights in his article "Swimming against the Tide," and I encourage any one who can not wrap their head around Dr. Craig's decisions to read it, as well.

  • Ron
    January 06, 2016 - 18:30

    I disagree that one doctor should be able to make a decision that overrides the patients own doctor when it comes to prescribing meds. Some of the patients own doctors have been seeing the patients for years and are aware of their history and should be much better qualified to prescribe meds that a doctor who sees them for a few minutes and possibly only once. This is arrogance at a very high level. This doctor may in fact be right but I believe that there should be more than one doctor involved and at the very least there should be a committee of 4 or 5 who should review any changes in drugs prescribed by the patients own doctors and part of the review should be an interview with the patients own doctor. In the case of a disagreement the patients doctor should have the final say. Does the same apply to other medication. If a prisoner has a serious heart problem or other disease does the prison doctor have the right to take away the patients medicine as prescribed by his specialist or does this policy only apply to meds used to treat mental issues. If that is the case then we have discrimination at again a very high level which should not be tolerated. I do not give any weight to the fact that he had 35 cases reviewed and all agreed with him. Did you ever try to get one doctor to testify against another in court??

  • Straight shooter
    January 06, 2016 - 18:26

    Having read this article I have respect for this man. He has faced tough circumstances against some entrenched interests, and there is a real problem here for sure; drugs are given out like candy - And candy sells. His reference to all those depressed by life or situational events is bang on. Mental illness and the drugs that go along with it have turned out to be a cottage industry.

  • What?
    January 06, 2016 - 18:25

    Craig's claims that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador agreed with his stand is an overstatement at best and BS at worst. This groups only reason for existing is to protect their own. If it wasn't, shouldn't they have gone after all those doctors who supposedly over-prescribed or incorrectly prescribed as Craig claims? The question that needs to be asked is, "Did the College of Physicians and Surgeons examine all those people that complained and, based on that examination, agreed with Craig diagnosis?" There is no indication that happened. I believe all they did was agree that Craig had the right to do what he did. Without that thorough examination of each and every person that complained, Craig's claims of validation are nothing but self-serving BS.

  • Anonymous
    January 06, 2016 - 17:24

    He is my doctor and I have to say, he's one of the good ones. I could be biased, but I think he's right.

  • Anonymous
    January 06, 2016 - 17:16

    As a psychiatrist and someone who worked closely with Dr Craig and knows him very well as he was my program director for many years, I trust his ability to diagnose and treat mental illness properly. He is a very good psychiatrist, well trained and he knows what he's doing. Psychiatry is a difficult field at the best of times and dealing with people in prison with addictions, personality disorders and complex difficult pasts is no easy feat. I am sure he does not take away medications from patients who truly need them but as a psychiatrist I have seen the mentalization of criminal behvaior time and time again! Not all criminal behavior is because of mental illness true antisocial personality disorder does exist and it does not respond to antidepressants! Thank you Dr. Craig for being tough when no one else was and fighting for what truly helps patients not keeping people drunk on benzos! Please leave this man alone!

  • Laura
    January 06, 2016 - 16:51

    It's not just psychiatric medications that get over-prescribed. It's well known that antibiotics are often given for clearly viral illnesses, x-rays are ordered for clearly muscular problems, and blood tests are performed more frequently than is beneficial. There's even an organization (Choosing Wisely) aimed at trying to turn the tide and stop over utilization of these things, as they don't only cost money; they can be harmful.These things happen for a variety of reasons, relating to the physician, the patient, the governing body, etc. No one entity is entirely to blame, which can make fixing the problem very difficult. Of course, medical drugs and tools can be extremely useful and beneficial when used appropriately for the appropriate problem. The trouble is finding the right balance. It's often easier to say 'yes' and hand someone a pill than to tell them that there's a more difficult but more appropriate answer. You're less likely to have a complaint made about you if you do that, too. As Dr. Craig points out, the pill does work, even for the inappropriate patient - but halfway. Dr. Craig is not satisfied at settling for his patients getting halfway better. He truly wants his patients to do well, and he's fought for that for years at much personal cost. A very well done article, congratulations.

  • Tina Olivero
    January 06, 2016 - 16:01

    First and foremost what it takes to become a Psychiatric Doctor is extensive and needs to be acknowledged at the onset. It takes rigorous training and study far beyond the norm of most professions. This level of education and training is a prerequisite for Doctors. They have EARNED their right to make their diagnosis and decisions. Should one be smart enough to make it through the process, then they make the choices as to the type of practice they will take on and where to work. People who choose prisons, do so because they have huge hearts and take on the biggest challenges. That needs to be applauded, acknowledged and given merit and freedom, when considering, a Physicians path and choice of prescriptive medicines and the overall well being of his patients. Having 36 complaints against him is the real crime. Where did we let society get so low that we beat up on our professionals and we honour the ones doing it. That is what's truly sick. A man who's committed to wellness by lessening medications is an icon, a revolutionary thinker and damn strong man to put up with the criticism of small minds and tainted hearts. This man deserves a massive apology from our system, from our people, and from you and I....and most of all an apology from the critics who have done nothing to foster extraordinary medicine and recovery in our province. In fact quite the opposite, such opposition is ultimately a fate of our own demise. Thank you Rosie Mullaley and thank you to the Telegram for publishing what needs to be said. We need a lot more of this. Dr. David Craig, I apologize to you, on behalf of our critical society overall. Thank you for your endless commitment. You are a pioneer or prisoners and clearly ahead of your time.

  • S
    January 06, 2016 - 15:57

    Dr. Craig's efforts in the field of psychiatry are to be applauded.

  • F'd Up
    January 06, 2016 - 14:54

    I could do 2 years standing on my head as long as they didn't take away my oxy.

  • Emme
    January 06, 2016 - 14:44

    35 complaints... 35 people trying to find someone else to blame instead of themselves. yeah ok, you had a hard life. Move on. make it better. Sometimes its just easier on staff and doctors to prescribe a drug to keep the person quiet. Kudos to the doc for his work.

  • Loretta Metcalfe
    January 06, 2016 - 14:42

    I believe that Dr. Craig is also one of the province’s top psychiatrists. Doesn't he deserve to be listened to for his medical expertise? Treatments do evolve over time and I applaud Dr. Craig for not taking the same old route. The fewer people addicted to drugs and alcohol in our society the better. We need a strong support system for those who are and dedicated doctors like Dr. Craig to reduce the numbers in the future.

  • Randy
    January 06, 2016 - 14:36

    Diet and Exercize, better than any pill. No pills please unless they are vitamin D. I agree with Dr. Craig, keep up the fight.

  • Poor NL
    January 06, 2016 - 13:44

    Jesus Wept!

  • smoke & fires
    January 06, 2016 - 13:42

    35 complaints & all without merit, ya right, when pigs fly! I'm not buying that or that this Dr knows better than all other dr.'s involved.

  • Eric
    January 06, 2016 - 13:28

    I APPLAUD you Dr. Craig! If you administer drugs to a patient to make them feel good they will depend on them for the rest of their lives and that is the Truth. It would be better to prescribe them a Crossword, Suduku, Jumble Word or Find a Word Puzzle or recommend that they get out for a Walk. The Doctors have aided and abetted the people who are drug addicted by prescribing drugs to them in the first place.

  • Political Watcher
    January 06, 2016 - 13:13

    Unfortunately, many going into HMP scam their doctors before they are sentenced. It is a great way to get their fix or high while on the inside and not have to pay the going rate on the inside. There are still many doctors that will prescribe anything even without a full examination into it. Yes, there may be some legit cases but for the most part they are scamming their way to a high. Remember, they are not on the inside for selling cookies.

  • WJS
    January 06, 2016 - 12:42

    Met the man once (not as a patient) and that was enough. An arrogant, ignorant individual with not an ounce of compassion. Actually believe the man chose the wrong profession in life. Without the proper supports available in the community, regardless of where one lives, taking away meds from anyone who has been prescribed them is immoral. There may be over prescribing at the fault of the system that has to be corrected, but it has to be addressed systemically, with the proper supports in place. Not by an ignorant egomaniac.

  • Samuel J.
    January 06, 2016 - 12:29

    Taking a tough, yet intelligent stand in any area of public policy can easily bring you in conflict with those who, for one reason or another, are vested in the status-quo. That push back often comes from a small vocal minority - not the silent majority. To someone like Dr. Craig, that noise can at times be deafening. But if you are certain of your position - as clearly Craig is - then you find ways to tune out the negative and focus on the positive. Like it or not, we live in an increasingly chemically dependent society. Yesterday it was a rookie MP checking himself into rehab and a GOP contender (Jeb Bush) discussing his daughter's drug addiction. Aside from the enormous costs of easy access to dangerous pharmaceuticals, there is the reality that oftentimes they don't work or that they serve merely to fast-trac the user toward a complete meltdown. Even for real psychiatric conditions, there is - as in the case of Buchingham - the problem of compliance. And, as Craig points out, there is the problem that 95% of the prescription drugs on city streets get there through lax prescribing standards. What are we to do with the 85% of inmates who have a substance abuse problem? Do we feed it while they are in prison so that, once released, they continue as a serious threat to society? Or do we make some serious attempt to get them - and society itself - off the merry-go-round?

  • Marquis de Sade
    January 06, 2016 - 12:16

    Is this so called DR. using our prisoners, our sons, to experiment on? WE should be aware, that just like some DR.'s over-prescribe meds others may have some problems of their own. The college dismissed 35 complaints against him, I wonder if that's b/c the college would have to admit they have a monster lose at the pen that has been harming people for over a decade? Can you imagine, you're sick, you know you're sick, you seek medical help & your DR. looks at you & says no you're not, I know better than you if you're sick & I'm not treating you!! There would be an uproar, why should he be able to do that to a prisoner? 35 complaints should tell us something, the college can't have it both ways, this guy is right or some of their other DR.s are wrong but still practicing. In my opinion this Dr. is frightening & it's also frightening that he can do this while our government that oversees the provincial prison system turns a blind eye.

  • Ali
    January 06, 2016 - 11:55

    I worked with dr. Craig in this setting. I always though and still do that he is doing the correct thing. I respect him immensely. There is too many people on prescription drugs that don't need to be. This is why we have so many folks with prescriptions addictions......

  • Dave Sheppard
    January 06, 2016 - 11:50

    What a refreshing opinion from a professional physician!. It is my opinion that bi-polar is often used to justify bad behaviour and poor parenting. Also when the schools graduate kids who have substandard reading and math skills, or who quit before they have employment skills their subsequent underemployment and low wages cannot be fixed by prescribing valium and the like.

  • What?
    January 06, 2016 - 11:38

    It must be nice to be smarter than everyone else. This is the first time I've seen a picture of the good doctor. I expected his head to be much, much larger.

  • Jennifer
    January 06, 2016 - 10:52

    Way to go Dr Craig! You've gotten many people off medications that weren't needed. Instead of adding to inmates addictions, you're helping them overcome them, even if they don't know it yet

  • roy206
    January 06, 2016 - 10:15

    Great piece. The Doctor ought to proud of his commitment to work in the face of resistance. With 35 wins under his belt maybe employment will be a little less stressful from here on....

  • Glenn Stockley
    January 06, 2016 - 09:34

    i was sickened to see this monsters photo on the front of today's paper....his favortie prescription for depression at h.m.p. is solitary confinement...this man's abuses go far beyond denying some whining junkie their oxy's.....shame shame shame on your paper and this sadist masquerading as a doctor .......

    • jerome
      January 06, 2016 - 12:22

      Maybe they should be all thrown in solitary confinement to dry out and then put on a program to deal with their dependence, there are much better alternatives than pills. I too was at the pen , even though it was 40 yrs ago, there were pill problems then too, but not with the potency they have today, but these people would either save them up or sell them to other inmates. Prescription drugs are the major problem with todays society, armed robberies.

    • mad as hell
      January 06, 2016 - 14:14

      how can ye people look at this the wrong way?he's helping to get off drugs don't ye get it..I think anyone on here thinks like thar is a druggie themselves

  • Lorraine
    January 06, 2016 - 09:18

    Under prescribing would work if inmates had appropriate supports available. Either prescribe or advocate for more supports.

    • Chantal
      January 06, 2016 - 11:13


    • Brad
      January 06, 2016 - 11:33

      Agreed, why do you think people are requesting sentences of 2 years + 1 day? So they can get better access to programs on the mainland.

  • Bob
    January 06, 2016 - 09:07

    This is a very difficult job with what can be a very challenging population. I have worked with Dr. Craig in this setting and have always felt that he was doing the right thing for the right reasons.

  • Bill
    January 06, 2016 - 08:51

    If Dwight Ball is serious about doing something to improve the system of mental health services during his tenure, the first act should be to replace Dr. Craig as the attending mental health doctor at HMP.

    • Prescient
      January 06, 2016 - 19:56

      Mr. Ball should do no such thing. Dr. Craig withstood a thorough peer review by a doctor experienced in a prison setting and all complaints by inmates against him have been investigated and dismissed. Dr. Craig is doing the right think. The current government should stand-by doctors who do not over-prescribe medications. Kudos Dr. Craig!

  • good on ya
    January 06, 2016 - 08:37

    these people need psychology, not psychiatry. Pills make the problem worse, they jusy create dependance and addiction. These people need to change their whole way of thinking to be able to function in society, not just pop a few pills and consider the problem solved.

    • andi
      January 06, 2016 - 14:49

      i agree! How many psychologists are at hmp? they are in need of individual, group and family therapy!

    • Sara
      January 06, 2016 - 21:02

      I agree. I know two people, with two different doctors, who were in the same accident and both suffered from PTSD. One doctor referred to a psychiatrist who set up therapy with a psychologist. ONE referred to a psychiatrist who set up therapy-she is doing great. The other doctor prescribed pills. Within 6 months, this lifelong professional who never took a Tylenol, was in rehab..

  • jerome
    January 06, 2016 - 08:17

    I agree, there is too much over prescription of drugs in our society . My mother takes 20 different pills a day, way too much, but who am I to disagree. I was married to a woman that was an alcoholic and a pill popper, she knew what to ask her doctor and she never got denied, she could get what ever she wanted . Yes prescription drugs have a place in our society, but they are way to easy to get and way too easy to be abused. There are other ways to help ones self beside prescription drugs , and I think these alternatives should be fully explored before prescribing more drugs. Most of the armed robberies are by prescription drug addicts, not the person that smokes a bit of weed.

    • Dolf
      January 06, 2016 - 14:19

      General Practioners don't have or allot time to properly diagnose patients who come in with nothing more than a hangover, same with kids and temper tantrums who just won't accept "no". Write out a prescription and it's next patient please. Great to see a doctor call a spade a spade!

  • Robert
    January 06, 2016 - 08:14

    I never have responded to an article before but thank God Dr Craig has the medical common sense about prescribing drugs.So often I've seen over the years Physcians prescribe what seemed to be a habit of script writing. I finally have a doctor who listens and cures without the habitual script writing. I've been a victim of break and entry where they have crushed natural glucosamine tablets to snort , not caring what it was in desperation for a high. We have all seen the effects of over prescribing and the positive effects of not. There needs to be an inquiry into this and I'm sure a million stories of the negative effect of over prescribing from antibiotics to narcotics would be told. Dr Craig's journey is one of Man dedicated to his profession of healing.

  • EDfromRED
    January 06, 2016 - 08:13

    I would love to know how many wealthy prisoners get their meds ripped away from them? I'm guessing little to none. Sounds like a egotistical attempt to play God. Instead of rats in a maze, he has poor men in a cage to test his "Theories" on.

  • Way to tell it
    January 06, 2016 - 07:45

    Good for Dr Craig for telling it how he sees it!

  • Marie Wade
    January 06, 2016 - 06:40

    Very well done. I hope someone with your view of these matters takes over when you retire.

  • Ken Collis
    January 06, 2016 - 05:27

    If I'm ever diagnosed with a mental illness I hope I can find a Dr. like Craig, who knows better than all the other doctors in NL.