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 Post subject: An EMT's Story. (Long)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:31 am 
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As my username says, My name is Steven and I'm an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and this is my story.

My addiction story begins when I was 19'ish. I was dating a girl whom later I realized was a hypochondriac. She was in and out of the hospital constantly. She had boxes of medications.
One day I was suffering pretty severe lower back pain and she offered me a pill.
I asked "What is it?" and she replied "Vicodin". I told her I've had Vicodin before and it doesn't work. (I couldn't see why people liked it so much). She insisted I take it, said "It will help... trust me"; so I took the one Vicodin and she jumped in the shower.
About 20 minutes later, I was lying in bed (because I was in so much pain) and all of a sudden I felt the sudden rush of euphoria race through my body! I was in heaven! I thought, oh my god, this stuff is amazing!!
Over the next few weeks and months I steadily began taking more and more everyday! Like I said, she had boxes of pills and I had what seemed like an endless supply of pills.

After a few years, we were working together in hitting up Emergency Rooms, Urgent Care Centers and regular Doctor appointments with fake aliments; putting on big acting shows about how we got hurt just to collect more drugs.

Eventually I broke up with her but my addiction stayed with me.
I continued to fake injuries to Doctors for quite some time.

One day, I went into my neighbors house who was not at home at the time; (they were a very close family friend, we were granted access to their home anytime) . I went in with the intent to steal some of her pain pills because I was going through severe withdrawals; and I did.

About 3 days later a Sheriff came to my house and asked if I went in to her home and took some of her pills. I was completely honest with him and said "Yes!" I was immediately placed in handcuffs and taken to Jail.

This was my first ever offense, and I was scared shitless!!! I'm going to jail! This is where they put murderers and rapists!!
I found out that when my neighbor found out that it was me that broke in to her home she begged the judge to let me go. She didn't want me to go to jail! But because I admitted to everything, the D.A picked up the charges and wanted to prosecute me.

Long story short!
The D.A offered a "Deal" to charge me with 2nd degree burglary with special circumstances (A Strike Felony) with 8 Months in County Jail and 3 years Probation. The special circumstances part meant upon completing my "punishment" my record would be wiped clean.
OR... I could go to a Jury Trial and I could be given up to 4 years in PRISON!

I took the D.A Deal!

And was released from jail early for good behavior AND released from Probation EARLY for good behavior. (NO ONE gets released from probation early).
I went to college and I stayed CLEAN....

-FAST FORWARD 8 YEARS....

I have my National EMT License and I'm close to finishing my Firefighting Degree.
I'm working for an Ambulance company and have numerous patients everyday! I'm helping people... and trying to give back to society, Life was GREAT!

Then my father gets diagnosed with Cancer and is given less than 6 months!
(Life kicks me in the ass again!)

So, as my father is on hospice and is getting weaker I start driving him around. One day it was to the pharmacy to pick up his Oxycontin and Norco's. I was complaining if lower back pain (Lifting patients all day everyday was taking a toll). He offered me a couple Norco's to help with the pain. I sat there and thought about it... I was in a great deal of pain... and its only 2 pills... I'll be fine, I won't slip back in to my old ways.
I did!
I was back... asking him for Oxycontin and Norco's every day.
It went on like this for 8 months!
(Yeah, he made it a couple months longer then the Doctor said.)

I was technically "High" while I was on duty. I didn't feel high... I took them to feel normal. But looking back, I can't help to want to go back in time and kick myself in the face for doing something so stupid! Luckily, during that time no one had died; as a result of/or while in my care.
I wised up and resigned from work for medical reasons.

-FAST FORWARD 1.5 YEARS....

I've seeing a doctor for my fake "Back Pain" for a year and a half. I'm taking Norco's by the mouth full.
I'm constantly running out early and giving him excuses... "I washed them", "I lost them"....
Finically, I told him I WANT OFF!
He put me on a taper system for a few months... but I still was still always running out early.
I asked him for an alternative. He put me on Methadone three times a day.
I started out well... staying on schedule... but quickly went back to taking 20 to 30 pills a day!!

Nine days ago, I have no Methadone, no narcotics and I'm going through serious withdrawals!! This was the last straw!! I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!!!!!

I called up a local Methadone Clinic. I know that while I'm in their care I can't blow smoke up their asses. They deal with ADDICTS, they have heard all the excuses before!

The same day I called them I was in a NP's office. I laid down $400 CASH and she gave me a 8mg Suboxone. 25 minutes later, all Signs and Symptoms of withdraw are nearly GONE! We talked for quite a long time about my past medical history and everything they need.

I'm now on 3 8mg tabs of Suboxone every day. It's been 9 days CLEAN and I'm starting to come out of the cloud! The NP has been calling me every day and checking on me. This is wonderful!!!! Glad my $400 is not going to waste. The only Con is the price of the medication; for 30 pills is over $200!!! You have to be rich to get clean!
BUT, I'M GOING TO KICK THIS DEAMON!!

Funny that Methadone is $11.00 for 90 pills and Suboxone would be over $700! The cheaper the drug... the more likely you will become addicted to it.

I've nearly cleaned out my bank account paying for all this!
BUT, I want to get clean... I want to return to my job working on an ambulance and helping people!

I WILL!


Thank you for reading my Story. (Hopefully, I don't loose my Medic License for telling it.)


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 Post subject: Thanks for sharing
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:41 pm 
Steven - Thanks for sharing your story! Congratulations on the progress you are making with Suboxone! It truly is such a wonderful feeling when you first get started on Sub and just feel "normal" again for the first time in so long, isn't it?
Your story isn't all that much different from mine and so many others. Being in the medical profession just kind of puts a little bit different slant on things though. If you want you can do a search on my user name and read some of my other posts to get a better idea of my history. I've never posted it in its entirety in this section - maybe I will at some point.
Anyway, suffice it to say that I know where you're coming from! I think being in a profession in which it's all about helping others, we just give and give and give, even at our own expense. In working as an RN for nearly 20 years, I too ended up with a bad back, lots of aches and pains and apparently some psychological aches and pains somewhere in my subconscious, eventually leading to a wicked opiate addiction. In the area in which I worked - I had access to IV narcs of all flavors and regretfully I made the choice (while under the influence of legitimately prescribed pain pills) to see what a little IV stuff would do for me. At first using 'waste' after cases and eventually just outright stealing meds off the floor stock.
Talk about shameful behavior! I was so, so sick! And no one knew it. Thank God I never hurt a patient, never withheld meds from a patient, but nonetheless I was so far out there, I literally could not control myself! Then - everyone knew!
As you can imagine, I got busted. It was devasting, humiliating, horrible to the point that words cannot describe it! That was one year ago almost to this very day. (it's been a tough week for me remembering it all)
Anyway - fast forward to the present - I discovered Suboxone 2 months ago and finally feel like I've got a chance for long-term recovery. I am so grateful. Needless to say, I have lost a lot. I can no longer practice nursing. I've lost a lot of "friends". It has been and will continue to be a long road for me. There is so much guilt and shame to work through.
You did the right thing by quitting your job. I wish I would have sooner and at least I wouldn't have had to surrender my license. I was a good nurse - never a blemish on my record until all this. I have folders full of patient/family accolades to my good care. I had a wonderful rapport with my docs. I worked hard to achieve what I did in my career - all lost now.
It is so very sad.
I know you want to get back on that ambulance but take your time. The temptation to divert narcotics is so strong and if/when it comes to that - you're really screwed. And you've already paid a high price before - you went to jail! People who have never been in our shoes don't get it. When we're in active addiction - the potential consequences of our actions don't matter. All that matters is getting that feeling that only opiates can give us. My God - the price is too high.
I'm glad you're doing well on Sub. I know I am, and I'm trying to put my life back together and start over. But it is hard.
Thanks for sharing your story and keep us posted on how you're doing.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:04 am 
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Thank you for sharing a little bit of your story!! I will search your name on here.

After just reading your story I'm so glad I resigned from work before it became apparent to my co-workers and friends. I can't even imagine what it would be like to loose my career license. We studied so hard for it, knowing its for the rest of our life. It IS our life!
In fact my CPR is expired and I have to re-new my national Medic license within the next 8 months! (MORE MONEY!)

The only thing that's killing me right now is the price of the medication. Damn American Drug Company's!!!
I'm currently on State Disability and I get a little over $400 every two weeks.
I pay $63.00 for 3 days worth of medication!!! I'm WAITING on MEDI-CAL (California Medical Insurance for low income people) to get back to me. My family is helping me pay for the Subs... but they aren't that much better off then I am; money wise.

My bank account is nearly dry from trying to get clean. When I was using, I had plenty of money all the time! Now I'm stressing about getting bills in on time and getting my Subs.

I had a scare on Friday.
There was a mix up at the pharmacy and they wouldn't let me put up my next fill. The Doctor wrote the script for no more then 2 in 24 hours. A day or two after he wrote that he told me over the phone I can take more if needed. I ended up taking three per day and he was just fine with that.
So of course the pharmacy said it was "too soon to refill". (the dreaded thing a narc abuser hates to hear from the pharmacy).
It was 4:30PM on a Friday and I was going to be OUT that night. I was so scared that I was going to have to go the whole weekend and most of Monday without anything!!!
Thank GOD I had saved the extension number to the NP desk and that she was still in the office!!
She fixed the script to read 3 per day and gave me 20 more.

Now it's been nearly a month and in the next week or so I have to drop $110.00 JUST to see the Doctor and get the next refill at $63.00 for 10 tabs! *OUCH*

I really dislike the amount of money I'm having to spend just to get clean!!! America is just so jacked up!
The trade off from using and having a lot of money to going clean and having no money SUCKS!
I FEAR running out of money... not being able to get my subs and having to go "Cold Turkey"!!!

But... Ever since I started I haven't had a single urge to take a single narcotic.


Thanks for letting me vent!

Setmefree... Thank you again for replying to my story. It was nice to hear from another person in the Medical Industry.


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Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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