How I was Addicted to Sleeping Pills. Seven Years Clean Now
When I was 16, I had problems sleeping and asked a doctor friend for help. She gave me sleeping pills, which worked well for a week, and when these stopped working, she offered me pethidene. She told me that she was using it, and that it was perfectly safe. I slept like a baby that night, and within 2 weeks I was hooked.
We had a wonderful system - she'd write out prescriptions and give me the money - and I'd 'pharmacy hop' to different pharmacies in surrounding cities to get them filled. I never went to the same pharmacy twice. Pethidene is a schedule-7 drug and we didn't want any questions asked. We shared the stash I accumulated.
Slowly my life spiralled out of control. I was sleeping well, but ate badly. I was aggressive, moody when I came off the high, and completely antisocial unless I'd taken the drug.
I was taking it every day, at school and at home, easily going through a box and a half (15 ampoules) a day. I was in my final year at school and could barely function. Not surprisingly I failed.
One day, after I returned from my prescription run, I plucked up the courage to ask my doctor friend if pethidene could be addictive. If I didn't have it, I felt awful - when I did, I felt fine. She assured me there was nothing wrong with it, and I stopped questioning.
This was my life for four years. I was always sick, continuously nauseous and vomiting, and my life was a total mess. My family thought I was possessed - no one suspected I was on drugs.
Then one day, my doctor was in a car accident and hospitalised. For a whole week I couldn't get my fix and my life collapsed. I ended up in Rehab and going through withdrawal was the worst experience of my life. I was there for two months, but was back at my supplier within three months of leaving the clinic.
Nine months late my world came crashing down. My family discovered my stash and threatened to kick me out, my doctor refused to supply me anymore, and I failed my final year at school a second time. This was my rock bottom and I returned to rehab.
It hasn't been easy staying clean, but I understand that once you're an addict, you're always an addict, and that your recovery needs to be taken one day at a time. To those who are addicted - you can clean up your life. To those who haven't started - make the right choice because addiction isn't a pleasant road to travel.