Painkiller Addict – From Wreckage To Redemption

Cathryn Kemp

9 years on

My story

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.

Just me.

Looking at the cover, you might think Painkiller Addict is a self-help book for recovering addicts, but I don't think that's what it is. It's a brilliantly well written memoir...