A neighbour got prescribed Percocets. One day she crushed a bunch, lined them up and asked if I wanted to try them. I’d had experience with cocaine before so I said, “Sure, why not?” That was about seven years ago. I didn’t think too much about it. I thought it would just be a one-time thing. But it became this really bad cycle.
In this small town, there’s not much to do, and a lot of people do that stuff. I had almost 10 people I would buy Percocets from. They would get prescribed about 100 a month. The day they got their pills, I would buy them. I was snorting 30 a day. They cost about five to six bucks a pill, so it was expensive.
It got to where I wasn’t even getting high anymore—I was just taking the pills so I wouldn’t be sick. I maxed out our credit cards and cleaned out our bank account. I’ve paid for people’s trips to Cuba from buying pills off them. The Percocets were the one thing I thought I had control over, but they got way out of control.
When I was at my rock bottom, my sister, who I thought I was close with, pretty much abandoned me. She didn’t want anything to do with me. That was hurtful and kind of made me want to use more, just so I didn’t have to feel that pain.
I am not proud of myself. Having people saying, “Oh, she is high around her kids all the time!” At first, yes, I was high. But it got to the point where I wasn’t high anymore. I could still function. But I don’t really remember much. I turned into a person I didn’t think I’d ever be.
One lady I got Percocets from had problems with her kidneys. Every so often she would get a kidney stone and her kidney stone doctor would give her pills for pain. She’d also get 120 from her family doctor and 30 from another guy. So she had a lot. She was one of the cheaper ones.
I would drive all around the region to buy—people selling are pretty much everywhere. I bought from a neighbour who bought from others. There are married men that are like, “Send me a picture of this, and do that for me.” When you are hard up for your pills you will do pretty much whatever.
There should be a more watchful eye on people who are on lots of narcotics. If you’re getting 120 pills a month, then maybe you should have drug tests to see whether you are taking them. And maybe don’t give people narcotics right away. Find other alternatives. I know some people actually do need them, but there are a lot of people out there who don’t, who just get rid of them for extra money. If narcotic prescriptions were better monitored, I think that would make them less accessible to people who are not prescribed them.
I tried to get off on my own, cold turkey, but I got really sick. I saw a liver doctor and told him that I didn’t know how to get off the pills. He asked if I’d ever thought about methadone. On my way back from seeing him, I pulled over to the side of the road and phoned the methadone clinic.
I’ve heard about a lot of bad experiences at other clinics. But the people at our clinic love their job. They ask how we’re doing, they really engage with us. They think about us when we are not around. When you are first on methadone you have to go there every day, so that little bit of frequent validation is an ego boost.
It would be nice to have a little bit of acknowledgement from my family that I am doing OK. But it’s black and white to them. You’re a user and that’s it. With my husband, it’s been tough. I think he’s not over everything yet. There’s a lot of things he did to me emotionally that led to it, and he won’t acknowledge any part of that. It’s hard when nobody around you is taking responsibility for what they have done, but they want you to take responsibility for what you have done. I am getting help, but nobody else wants to acknowledge any of their part in it.
I work as a housekeeper now. A lot of times when I am working I get thinking that maybe this is what I deserve, that because of my drug use I don’t deserve to be happy. I have no self-esteem and that sucks, because I want more for myself and my kids. I am hoping to go back to school, maybe along the lines of social work. I am hoping to help people who are in the same boat as me.
Right now I am working on myself and trying to get my self-esteem back. With help from the community health centre and the ladies at the methadone clinic, I am slowly starting to rebuild my confidence.
We are all human and we all make mistakes. If there is an opportunity for me to try and make it right, I will. At times I am embarrassed of the things I’ve done. But if I didn’t go through everything I did, and see what I’ve seen, I would not be where I am today.