It even tells me to share my story 🙂
I’ve been taking N+ for 5 years now. It started innocently enough – I had cracked a vertebrae and wanted a “milder” pain relief option to Panadeine Forte. The doctor then gave me a script, and off I toddled to the closest pharmacy. There was no discussion about the capacity for addiction, or even a timeframe to stop taking them – “just when I felt better” was the answer I was given.
Funnily enough, I never got better. I chase the better – every day. I run around to 4-6 pharmacies in one go to feel better. I lie to my loved ones and schedule my life around this very accessible drug. Upon making the decision to stop, I’ve been reading a lot about it – and the people who’ve walked in my shoes. Did you know, for example, that addiction to Nurofen Plus can form in as little as 2 weeks? You might – back when I started taking it, there were no such warnings.
Now I’m certainly not suggesting that this predicament I’ve got myself in is not my own fault. It is – I have an addictive personality, and when I started taking it “just because”, I should’ve thrown the rest of that packet out there and then. But I didn’t, and here I am. But I’m hoping writing about my experiences here will serve multiple purposes. The first, selfishly, is for me, and my healing. Apologies in advance.
The second objective is more selfless. I’ve spent countless hours reading drug forums and professional websites, but I haven’t found many recent stories or current posts. Now considering that codeine-related deaths in Australia have tripled in the last 5 years, that doesn’t make much sense to me. There’s less information and support now than 5 years ago – but dependency is growing. So much so that pharmacies are rolling out mandatory real-time recording for all codeine sales. The Pharmacy Guild of Australia is pushing this trial as an alternative to N+ becoming prescription only. That should give you an idea of how serious this problem really is.
So this, my first post, is a brief introduction as to the why I’m writing this blog. The next will give you a bit of the Who, followed by the How – both the path down and back up again. I am heading home slowly.