Is something each and every one of us crave. We all have a story to tell – whether it’s a traumatic childhood, a nasty break-up, a dead-end job, a tough day-to-day life. And some people choose to deal with it by consuming large amounts of alcohol, or drugs. Or they go to the Pokies. Or gamble online in their room. Or cheat, lie and steal. Or if you’re really unlucky – a mixture of the above.
Fortunately for me I chased my first demon away when I was 28 – alcohol. I went from having a couple of glasses of bubbles to have a good time and loosen up a little, to not being able to leave my room without at least half a bottle of (warm) wine. Any kind by then. I didn’t care. It took my family flying to another state and drying me out for me to realise the why. Now alcohol is not unconditional love – that’s not where I’m headed with this post.
But N+ is. I should say, was. I am still in that first phase of addiction treatment – I’ve acknowledged there’s a problem, but it’s still in my system. I am still taking a few tablets – but it’s almost halved in less than 48 hours. Nurofen Plus has been there for me through it all – the alcohol abuse, the devastating shame and guilt I felt after sobering up, the treatment and soul-searching, the re-building, etc.
It was like a crutch – from one addiction to another, some might say. But what I’ve also realised is that it calmed me. It became a constant – when I should have looked to my close family as the source of that unconditional love, it instead was the drug. That’s taken me all this time to realise too. The why. There is always a why with every addiction. It’s partly physical, but I believe, every addict has a big WHY they need to address before they can hit the road to recovery with any sort of strength or chance of success. But I am here now. Heading home slowly.
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.