I became addicted to prescription painkillers after a severe, life-threatening illness. For four years I was attached to a morphine or fentanyl drip, with morphine derivative medication given to me as an outpatient. Then in 2008 I was finally discharged from hospital with a repeat prescription for fentanyl lozenges.
The painkillers saved my life – then they nearly killed me.
No-one is immune from the possibility of dependence upon these potent drugs. We are only ever a case of back pain, a car crash or an operation away from exposure to opioid medication.
My addiction unleashed a monster within me. I went from eight lozenges a day to almost 60 by the time my GP cut me off –all of it on prescription from my doctor. By the time I entered rehab I was barely alive, broken in bits and desperate to hand over the painkillers that controlled my life in every way imaginable.
And so my journey began.
I kept diaries throughout my experiences, and began writing Painkiller Addict: From Wreckage to Redemption within a week of leaving rehab. I needed to tell my story and the only way I felt I could do it with honesty and integrity was to come clean about me. No anonymity to hide behind. No false name. No airs and graces.