I bloody well should be labelled an addict. Really.
But, am I?
I have, for most of my life, been quite happily self medicating myself on various substances as I see fit.
This has, for the most part, gone unnoticed by family and friends. I have been using more opiates than people on legal programmes. I have never wanted to go back on legal methadone doses as they are flatlining you. Some days I need more. Some days less. Therefore I prefer to be on none, than their constant regime, which is never correct for me.
For years I was prescribed codeine and halcion together. This combination worked somewhat.
I suffer chronic pain conditions (arthritis in the spine and various quantifiable crush and nerve injuries). The doctors, nowadays, all take one look at my history, label me an addict and send me on my way with nothing.
This then leads me to being unemployed and broke. In order to do something about this I go and find pain killers so I can fix my own car and make some money working. Without painkillers I spend a few hours each day flat in bed. This is not something to put on a CV when applying for a new job.
I then show up at CARE NZ (treatment provider for addictions) wanting a counsellor to discuss ADhD and “addiction” issues. Despite initially accepting my request and saying they will get back to me with an appointment, they say I am too complicated the next day via a rather odd phone call. I have since learnt that amazingly high numbers of “addicts” are ADhD, OCD, PTSD, etc etc. So, surely, they must be more aware of that than I, a simple layman with a drug addled brain.
They send me to chronic pain management. They send me to addiction disservices. They send me to idiots like Sam McBride. At the end of the day, I have been around in big circles my whole life through these services. I get nowhere. I walk in knowing full well to expect nothing. I leave not at all surprised that they have done, and are willing to do, absolutely nothing.
Am I an addict?
I would have always said yes. Resoundingly.
I am a self medicating addict with little or no harm to myself or society. I worked, I made money, I spent all the money on pain killers so I could work more. This became a problem in itself, of course. Therefore, at that stage, I am a bloody addict. Of the kind that is problematic.
That is the issue.
A completely functional alcoholic really has little compulsion to give up. Or change in the slightest. And why should he?
Self medicating is being “dependant“.
As I have a spine injury and have trouble walking a kilometre some days I am dependant on a car. This is
different to being addicted and being harmful to myself and my environment because of my car usage.
For a decade I had a very understanding Doctor. He was a very clever man. He understood dependence and addiction probably better than the psych idiots whom actually run the “proper” maintenance protocols.
I know this. He was an old time doctor whom never charged me a cent for his time. And I was there two or three times a week for years! He grew cannabis for his wife’s medical condition. This is 100% illegal in New Zealand. He was seventy last time I saw him. And I don’t know what he is doing now. I owe him a decent scotch or two. For sure.
One time I could not walk up the stairs to his office. It was fifteen years ago. Another patient came past and told him I was stuck at the first landing. He appeared within thirty seconds with a big syringe full of pethidine which was injected promptly. No questions asked. No payment required. He gave me a script for some more pain killers and talked the local chiropractic and massage people to give me a months worth of free service. Unreal. What a guy. If anyone should write a book, it is him.
I have always said that I use drugs. Sure, I like them. They are good for me really. But then I can get entirely out of hand.
This is somewhat of a problem.
This problem could be alleviated by having a proper legitimate and cost effective supply of the correct drugs for my conditions. Rather than being a chronic pain sufferer with no pain medications. An ADhD like mind with no cognitive therapy, help or understanding.
Maybe they would like to give someone with severe burns no pain killers whilst they perform skin grafts? Seriously, at least that guy will be back at work in a year or two. Although I feel sorry for him short term.
Here I am, stopping drugs all together, and I cannot actually see a way forward for myself. With a lot of pain killers I can go and work. With amphetamines – Same thing. The most productive and creative I
have been in my adult life has been whilst “addicted”. Dependant may be a better term.
I am an idiot. I let my self medicating get out of hand… Life becomes unmanageable. At this point I become a problem addict. I admit this, and will continue until such time as the problems are larger than the benefits of the “self management and administration strategy”. And then I need some help to withdraw a bit. And then I present to the addiction people as a problem addict. And then Sam McBrides definition of “fail” is the whole reason why they would not help me detox. But I have not failed. I have over achieved. I wanted to be manageable.
I have stopped using drugs. Entirely.
This has almost resulted in me stopping my life. Entirely.
There should be some happy medium. I like leaving the house.
The good doctor with the pethidine shots recognises this. Pity the morons who run addiction services and pain management don’t.
If the ADDICTION DISSERVICES in your area let you down, try one of these…