I am an addict through and through and so I would first like to say that the onus has always been very much on me. I take full responsibility for my actions and the problems that have ensued. Although, I would also argue that doctors and various other medical professionals have also played a part in the problem too. I honestly do believe that if doctors were more reluctant to prescribe opiates and explore alternative forms of medication and therapy first then maybe we wouldn’t be so inundated with people who are addicted to these drugs.
I was first exposed to pain meds when I moved in with grandmother as a young girl. I have gone into more detail about this in my previous post ‘Can I Get A Rewind’ but basically I was struggling with a bad back and so rightly or wrongly my grandmother would give me some of her tablets to alleviate the discomfort that I was in. To be honest, having just left home I also had competing emotional issues for which I visited the doctor but I was dismissed despite suffering with acute anxiety and desperate depression. My problems were trivialised, not taken seriously and I was simply sent on my way. Had I been treated properly, possibly given antidepressants just for example, given the opportunity to explore alternative therapies such as CBT or other talking therapies then maybe I wouldn’t have felt the need to self medicate and numb myself with opiates. Also, based on the way I was treated, later on I didn’t feel that I could confide in my doctor about my problems. From other peoples experiences I knew that once you brought drugs into the mix then they just were not interested in treating you and paid even less interest than before.
It was for this reason that I hid my problem for many years to come and to put it simply I quickly became aware that the warm embrace offered by opiates also helped to soothe the pain that I was in psychologically as well as physically. I think it’s fair to say that I started to self medicate at this point although it was done unknowingly as I was so young and didn’t understand the dangers or the repercussions of my actions. We’re talking fifteen years ago now, information on opiates and their addictive and dangerous qualities was just not known or made readily available. After being dismissed with regards to my mental health it wasn’t long before I paid my first visit to the doctor describing the pain that I was experiencing with my back ache and so without hesitation she wrote me a prescription for Codeine. As the problem was ongoing this prescription was put on repeat and so there I had my very own supply of opiates. At first I was prescribed one box of 100 tablets per month but then I developed a tolerance and so this was upped to two boxes of 100 tablets every twenty eight days. These helped with the back pain but also served to numb me emotionally so that I could progress and push forward with my every day to day life.
Sometime later I had a problem with my foot which upon investigation turned out to be a stress fracture and so the opiates that I had been prescribed were just not cutting it any longer. For this reason the doctor offered to increase the strength of my pain meds and so I was prescribed Tramadol for the first time. The recovery time for a stress fracture is on average six to eight weeks and so it was at this point that I should have been taken off them. However, by this stage I had become addicted to Tramadol and speaking plainly they felt good, I didn’t want to come off of them. Fortunately or maybe unfortunately for me the medication went unchecked and I stayed on this medication for the next several years!
The system in Great Britain and under the NHS means that generally speaking you go to your local surgery whereby you are given ten minutes with a GP to discuss and diagnose your ailment or illness. Very often is the case that the surgery is overwhelmed with too many patients and so you are literally in and out of the doctors room. I think that this is how a lot of opiate addiction cases get over looked. I should also note that we are now starting to see other drugs make their way onto the scene, prescription drugs that are being abused such as Amitriptyline and Pregabalin just for instance. Also, one benefit of getting your drugs off a doctor is that you know they are clean and not cut with any other kinds of other dirty or dangerous substances. When things got really bad for me and my addiction worsened I would just simply buy other peoples prescriptions. On the black market prescriptions for Codeine, Dihydrocodeine, Tramadol, Morphine and Diazepam are all readily available.
I think there’s a lot more food for thought on this topic, many more points I would like to have highlighted but I’m going to leave it there for today. So yes my drug dealer was very much a doctor and for many, many years. Although, I am now pleased to say that I am embracing over ten months sobriety. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me feel, the quality of my life has improved so much. Always curious and forever intrigued I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on my posts and page. I look forward to hearing from you!