Developing Pain Pill Addiction
As a National Honor Society student, Lauren never suspected that she would end up with an Opioid pain pill addiction. However, a diagnosis of endometriosis resulted in her doctor prescribing her medications to help deal with the pain.
Endometriosis is a condition where painful growths occur on the outside of the uterus. Lauren endured a total of 16 abdominal surgeries as doctors attempted to treat the chronic pain that she experienced.
At the end of every surgery, and as a way to maintain the pain, she was prescribed narcotic drugs. These narcotic drugs affected Lauren’s studies and made it extremely difficult to concentrate and get through the day.
Lauren quickly became enslaved to the prescription pain pills. Each day, she’d try to wake up and go as long as she could without taking any medication. But eventually, she’d break down and swallow a handful of pills.
Lauren got to the point where she didn’t even care about the pain anymore—she just wanted to numb herself with her prescription.
Managing Pain and Opioid Use
As time went on, her doctors wanted to try new procedures to combat her pain. One of the procedures that she underwent was one where they gave her injections in her spine. Unfortunately, this procedure went wrong and one of the doctors nicked her spine.
The doctor’s goal to curb Laurens pain in ways other than prescription Opioid use was not successful. Shortly after this surgery, Lauren contracted osteomyelitis, a bone-eating infection – yet another complication as a result of the spinal surgery.
On a trip to San Diego to see a doctor, Lauren began to experience intense pain in her spine. Her parents assumed that it was from the plane ride and would soon subside, but they were very wrong.
Lauren’s spine was collapsing in on itself and she was unable to stand on her own or walk. Lauren had to undergo more surgeries, and as a result, sustained more damage which left her in a wheelchair for a year.
After the year, Lauren had to use a walker and then a cane as she progressively got better—she felt trapped during this time as she was unable to fully control her legs.
Feelings of being trapped and in pain are some of the most powerful causes of prescription drug abuse. In Lauren’s case, her prescription drug abuse was encouraged by her feelings of isolation and pain.
Physical Disability and Addiction
Lauren’s complications during surgeries resulted in her addiction to pain medication progressively getting worse as the months went by. Her drug addiction wasn’t the only thing that kept her isolated from others.
Being physically disabled, Lauren had trouble with mobility and couldn’t move around without the help of a wheelchair, walker or cane.
Lauren who otherwise looked healthy felt that all eyes were on her as she got around her college campus—curious eyes wondering what could possibly be wrong with her.
Lauren’s addiction grew worse and the prescription medication that she was taking on a daily basis was a chance to desensitize herself from the pain and difficulties that she was experiencing.
She felt as if complications were just happening to her, one after another—she didn’t know if she was ever going to be better. Lauren reasoned to herself that she would just numb out; it was her goal to become almost catatonic. She didn’t want to deal with life but she also didn’t want to kill herself.
Family Intervention for Substance Abuse
Lauren’s help for her substance abuse and addiction came in the form of family intervention services. Throughout the years that she spent abusing prescription drugs, she didn’t realize the heart-break that she was causing those closest to her.
Lauren’s family confronted her with love and asked her to get the help that she needed. When Lauren saw the looks on her families faces and the concern in their voice, the only answer that she could think of was “yes.”
Lauren agreed to accept the gift of substance abuse treatment. Moreover, she credits her interventionist with helping her stay strong on the way to treatment. She explains how her interventionist played a crucial role in giving her hope that there is a better way to live life.
Bravely entering an addiction treatment center, Lauren began working a solid and honest 12-step program. She realized that for all of the time that she felt isolated in her addiction and that she was the only one who felt this way, she was wrong.
During this time, she met people from all walks of life that embraced her and loved her in a way that she will be forever grateful for.
Lauren recounts that during her addiction and during the beginning of recovery, she had such a hard time loving herself. These people who came alongside her made all the difference in the world.
How Sobriety Changed My Life
Today, Lauren’s life is very different and she stays in contact with her interventionist. Every year on her sober anniversary, she calls her interventionist, which is highly emotional for both of them.
Lauren is happy that she found the light at the end of the tunnel. She is a strong woman who has come out on the other side of her addiction to pain pills. As she shares with us, she exudes gratitude to be alive and a warmth that is hard to describe.
Her experience with addiction almost broke her, but through bravery and courage, she accepted the help that she needed and came out on the other side a woman full of wisdom and love.
Lauren’s life in recovery today is very different, and she could never imagine going back to the prison of addiction. Lauren is inspired by the enthusiasm and love that she finds in the rooms of 12-step programs.
For this reason, she shares her experience, strength, and hope with others who need to hear it. In the end, Lauren’s family saved her from pain pill addiction through an effective tool of intervention.
At the intervention, her family conveyed their message of love and offered the gift of treatment. She counts treatment as the best decision that she’s ever made and encourages others to accept the help they need and deserve for their addiction.
If your loved one is suffering from drug addiction, please seek help before it is too late. To talk with someone in recovery who has walked through the darkness of addiction, call (866)578-7471. Living free from substance abuse is possible and we can help.