Prescription Drug Abuse: How I Got Addicted to Painkillers
Beating the Addiction
Like most women who get hooked on these pills, Lisa struggled in her effort to get clean, suffering a relapse a few weeks after her first stint in detox, followed by a second attempt to end the drug abuse in February 2006. Since then, everything seems to be working. For two years, she took doctor-prescribed Suboxone, an opioid maintenance drug like methadone that kept withdrawal symptoms at bay but didn't allow her to get high. And since March of 2008, she's been completely pill-free. "I couldn't stand going through detox again," she says. "That, along with my husband and kids, is what I think about when I start to falter." To help keep herself clean, Lisa no longer handles the family finances, so she doesn't have a way to hide her spending habits. She asked her husband to install a software filter on the computer, so she can't browse for online pharmacies. And she regularly attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
"I know I'm lucky to have recognized my problem before I lost everything," she says. "Now, the terror of addiction ruining my health has made me more focused on treating my body right." For Lisa, that means getting back to the thing that's always made her feel good: working out. "When I experience that horrible fatigue, I get on my treadmill or go to the gym," she says. "I feel better afterward. Every day is a challenge. But I'm getting stronger. Every day is an opportunity to get it right."
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