SARA | In Memoriam
I didn’t think it could happen to me because a doctor had prescribed them.
My issue with opioids started in my early 20s after receiving a morphine drip while in the hospital for a medical condition. The drip continued the whole time I was there, and I received a consistent supply of meds when I left. I didn’t realize for another year or two that I probably left the hospital that day dependent on opioid pain medication. In the following years, when I was trying to figure out what was wrong with me and why I was so sick all the time, it was really hard to come to terms with the fact that I was physically addicted to opioids. I didn’t think it could happen to me because a doctor had prescribed them. As my tolerance rose, I needed more and more, and started buying pain medication off the streets. Eventually that progressed to heroin because it was just so much cheaper. I repeatedly sought treatment through my primary insurance provider, but as it’s expensive, they wanted to exhaust every option before giving it to me. Before I could ever get the inpatient treatment I needed, I lost my health insurance, and eventually spiraled back into things. I finally entered into a therapeutic community program in Colorado, and that is how I found long-term recovery. My parents shared my hopelessness and frustration. They were amazed at the lack of options I had when I wanted to get better. Now that our lives are very different, they both rally and advocate for people to gain access to treatment.