Faces of Addiction: Part One
Opiate abuse is an incredibly difficult thing to face. Whether you’re struggling with your own dependence on opioids, or you know a loved one who is, the journey is never easy. All too often, it’s made more difficult by the public perception of what a “drug addict” is – but here at OTCOA, we know that addiction has many faces.
If you or a friend or family member is struggling with opiate abuse, we know that your struggle is not due to flaws in character or a lack of willpower. Opiate addiction affects real people and real families every day. This series of stories will attempt to illustrate why so many regular people fall victim to opiate use and abuse, and how they can find help.
Faces of Addiction: A Busy Mom
More than 18 million women ages 26 and older reported using prescription medications for unintended uses in 2008, and that number has only grown in the last 8 years. For working and stay-at-home moms alike, the joys of motherhood are often accompanied by feelings of stress and isolation.
Even after an injury, or in the face of conditions like postpartum depression, mothers have to carry on in order to support their children and their families. There are no vacation days in parenting.
After a car accident that injures her back, one young mother might be prescribed Percocet to deal with the pain. At first, it’s more than necessary. It lets her pick up her toddler without pain, and it gives her the strength to pick her older kids up from school and drive them to the week’s activities.
After a while, however, her back pain recedes, but her pill use only increases. Percocet, Vicodin, and a variety of other opiates are within easy reach – other mothers have these prescriptions, and who isn’t willing to help out another mom?
Her doctor continues prescribing her painkillers, unaware of the additional pills she’s taking. This young mom loves the way the pills make her feel – confident and strong, like she’s super-mom. She finally feels like she can keep up with the other moms on the PTA, with the other women in her office, and she feels better about herself than she has in a long time.
Even when things start slipping, she thinks it’s okay at first. She takes a few extra pills and forgets to pick up her oldest daughter from practice. A whole afternoon with her toddler is lost when she wakes up to him crying, not sure for how many hours she’s been passed out. Her husband finds her unconscious a few times, and he’s concerned.
One day, she visits a new doctor, trying to fill her prescription. Her old physician has started cutting back her dosage, and she’s having trouble getting the other moms to continue giving her pills – they’re concerned about her.
The pharmacist refuses to fill the prescription, because it’s too early for her refill. She bargains with him, offering to pay cash, telling him to call her doctor. She gets angrier and angrier, finally yelling and making a scene.
Even then, she doesn’t want to admit she has a problem. Her husband begs her to seek treatment at a clinic, and she does for the sake of her children. It will be weeks before she can finally admit that her misuse of a prescription has led to an addiction.
Like the mother of our story, you or a loved one might be overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. It’s okay to need help, and there’s no shame in seeking treatment. If you’re ready to pursue a scientifically-backed, effective and affordable treatment method, reach out to OTCOA today.
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