Monday, October 25, 2010

Valium & Methadone Binge

My husband, Shane and eldest son were very keen hunters, and every year around April they all went on their annual hunting trip.   For the past 5 years they had flown in and out of the Ureweras by helicopter from a base in Rotorua for their 5 days of hunting.   The men camped in the bush and stalked deer and wild pigs.   This hunting trip was booked and planned months ahead, and it was something all three men looked forward to and really enjoyed.   Shane even had to apply to CADS weeks prior to this trip for the extra take home doses of Methadone to take with him.   Guns and hunting safety were always a top priority, and my husband had brought both boys up to appreciate this rule, so it was the one time of the year that for 5 days Shane remained in control and didn't abuse his Methadone or other drugs.

The 2003 hunting trip was upon us and the men were departing early hours of the Saturday morning.   It was arranged that our eldest son would head over to Te Puru on the Friday to sort and assemble all the hunting and camping gear ready for departure.   We arrived home from our work in Pukekohe that Friday night about 6.30pm to find our eldest frustrated and upset over the state Shane was in.   He said Shane was drugged up to the eyeballs, and he'd been like that since his arrival early that afternoon.   Our eldest had managed to establish that Shane had purchased Valium tablets from an acquaintance while in Thames that morning collecting his Methadone.   However, he was unsure how many Shane had purchased or taken.   In that moment all the excitement of the hunting trip was lost.

Shane being a bit drugged up wasn't unusual under normal circumstances, but it certainly was prior to a hunting trip, so at first I thought maybe my eldest was being over dramatic about the situation.   But, hell no he wasn't dramatizing at all, and barging into Shane's bedroom confirmed this.   Shane was indeed extremely drugged, in fact it's the worst drugged induced state in 9 years I'd ever seen him in.   Shane was sitting on his bed with this horrible vacant, dazed look about him.   A syringe and 2 empty dose bottles of Methadone were found, which I immediately disposed of, but no valium tablets were located in his bedroom.   His kit for hunting had been packed days before but that was all unpacked, and there were cloths strewn all round his bedroom.

I was livid, absolutely furious with him, not because of the hunting trip, but because he'd blatantly risked his life by abusing all that in one day.   You see, Shane would've drunk Fridays dose of Methadone at the pharmacy, then he'd been given 5 days supply of Methadone to take hunting.   It was obvious that out of this supply Shane had also shot-up another 2 doses of Methadone that day, plus whatever Valium pills he'd acquired as well.   Honestly I felt like slapping him, but he was that drugged up he probably wouldn't have felt it anyway.   It's just unbelievable, and never ceases to amaze me how a drug addict's body copes with all those drugs in the system, and all in one day.   However, that's how most addict's do unintentionally overdose, because they are always prepared to push the limits of what, and how much they've taken on previous occasions, and that's what's really frightening about loving a drug addict, never knowing if that one day of over indulgence, is going to be that one time to many.

All we could do at that time was to get Shane a bit mobile and keep him occupied, hoping that the effect's of the drugs would eventually wear off.   By 11pm that night Shane's drugged stupor had slightly improved, well, at least he was coherant and conversant.   Up to this point I'd contained my anger, but all this fury and fear welled up inside me and I exploded, ripping into him about his over indulgence that day, saying  " how dare you put yourself at risk like that, you're a bloody asshole Shane.  What if dad and I had come home and found you dead, you never think about that do you? with you're  bloody drug taking."   The barrage continued and I told him I knew about the Valium tablets he'd brought, and that he'd also shot-up an extra 2 doses of his Methadone as well.   Shane admitted to purchasing 10 Valium tablets, but he had no recollection of using the extra Methadone.   The usual apologies, sorrow and guilt followed and Shane promised to sort his 'shit' out and not to abuse like that again.   "You better sort you're 'shit' out Shane I said, or else, cause I'm not going to keep doing this drug stuff with you year after year".   Famous last words of mine, and one's that were to be repeated many, many more times over the next few years.   But there was one day I really did mean it.

There are a large group of drugs which in medical terms, are referred to as Benzodiazepines.   Some of the most commonly abused are:  Valium, Diazepam, Temazepam and Lorazepams.   The opiate based prescription medications that are abused and highly sought after by addict's are:  Morphine and Tramadol.   All these pills are listed as controlled drugs, therefore prescription only medications.   Naturally, failure to obtain any prescription drug via a general practitioner, the addict can purchase some of these medications through drug dealers.   Prescription medications are usually abused because they are easier to obtain than illegal, intravenous drugs and a lot less expensive.   Therefore, prescription medications are inclined to be seriously abused by Methadone participants for 'topping-up' due to their availability and cost.   Anyone of these drugs, if overly abused with Methadone, alcohol or other intravenous drugs, can have serious consequences.

My husband and eldest insisted on Shane still being included in on the hunting trip, it takes a day to set up their camp site so they wouldn't be going hunting until the Sunday, and they felt Shane would be fine by then.   Thank god for that, because incidents and row's with Shane used to leave me feeling quite emotionally drained, so putting some space between us was always good medicine for me.   The hunters returned 5 days later, this time minus a deer or pig, but never the less, fun and male bonding was had by all.   Shane went on this hunting trip with 2 doses of Methadone down remember, which meant he had to go 2 seperate days in the bush without his Methadone.   But even this didn't dampen his enthusiasm, my husband stated that although Shane appeared unwell on these days, he never once grumbled or complained about it, he just got on with the hunting schedule.

This fearful over indulgence incident in 2003 was just the tip of the ice-berg, drug binging sessions and Shane putting himself at risk became a nightmare.   But in 2004-05 I invested in a computer and this changed my perspective of Shane's drug addiction and how I dealt with the abuse.   My campaign re: The Methadone Maintenance program is ready to be forwarded out.   I will put my completed campaign format on as an extra posting in a few days time, so my readers are aware of what has been sent out.

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