Is This Supposed to Be Relief?

Have you ever heard those commercials for supposed miracle drugs, in which the narrator tries to fit a laundry-list of horrible side effects in the last six seconds while a couple walks on the beach or an old man pets his dog? Of course you have; they’re everywhere. I feel like they should do something similar for prescription painkillers, only they should use anecdotal side effects from real-live addicts in the ads. For me, the commercial would go something like: “May cause job-loss, divorce, indignity, a pervasive feeling of worthlessness, loss of will to live and a number of unpleasant physical symptoms.”

Drug companies did a pretty good job of hiding the side effects of prescription painkillers until people started dropping like flies from addiction and overdose. I’m talking 18-year-old kids who got hurt playing football, old men who started taking them for chronic pain and family men like me whose doctors shoved them down their throat. This is the legacy of your supposed symptom relief; a string of dead bodies and a legion of addicts who, if they live that long, eventually graduate to heroin and remember only fleeting moments of what their lives were like before they started popping these pills.

I wasn’t in a position to “just say no” when my doctor ordered me to take hydrocodone. I relied on him for medical advice and he said the best way to relieve my excruciating back pain was pain pills. Best is a relative term, huh doc? I was a college professor and had spent the better part of 15 years standing for six hours per day. Hydrocodone solved this problem, not by taking away my back pain, but my job. After about a year into my addiction, I was placed on indefinite suspension for showing up to my lectures high. This was followed by the disintegration of my marriage and a failed suicide attempt.

I would have done anything to have my old life back, except the one thing I had to do. I languished in hydrocodone hell for about a year after that, blowing through my savings and eventually being forced to sell my home. One of my former students had discovered the mess that my life had become and actually offered to pay for my rehab.  Broken, defeated and completely devoid of dignity, I accepted hydrocodone addiction treatment. It was like I was trying to claw my way out of hell and someone handed me a rope to use.

Although I was grateful for the help, I was still extremely skeptical about treatment. I didn’t think there was anything I could do to rescue myself, but I was proven wrong each day I was in my program. Eventually I started feeling better about myself and life in general. Once I saw that there was a future for me without these drugs, I gave everything I had to my recovery.  It’s been three years since my last hydrocodone high. I know relapse can happen to anyone, but I refuse to let it happen to me. 

Contact the National Information Center for Pain Medication Addiction anytime toll-free at (855) 222-1980 or through our online form, and receive the answers, information or our recommendation for the help you or your loved one need to stop their pain medication addiction!

Get back the quality of life and level of dignity that is only possible when you or your loved one are no longer addicted to pain medication drugs . . . regardless of whether they were obtained legally or illegally.