July 25, 2021 –  But in time, after daily use, my body built up tolerance to the pills, and one wasn’t enough. Soon I needed two to feel the high, and eventually three. I would buy whatever was available.

When I ran out of pills, the withdrawal was certain and unbearable. I had restless leg syndrome, chills, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, sweating, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and fever, all for several days or longer. I would do anything to avoid getting dopesick, even returning to the drugs. To wean myself, I tried using synthetic narcotics like methadone and Suboxone, which provided some relief, but they’re highly addictive substitutes. What’s more, many of the clinics that sell these alternatives only take cash and charge hundreds of dollars for a five-minute appointment. The prices were so high that I couldn’t always afford to get clean. An appointment to get Suboxone was $300, and the medication cost me $14.00 per pill — while street pills cost me $5.00 each. It was easier and cheaper for me to buy black market pain pills than to get treatment. When I was arrested for selling stolen goods at pawn shops, I was getting high every day and at rock bottom.

After being taken to the county jail, I was thrown into a “cold cell” to detoxify with no medical assistance. Although I was taking a daily cocktail of Xanax and 30-milligram morphine pills, the nurses refused to provide me help, instead ignoring me during three days of unbearable opiate and benzodiazepine withdrawal. I was then inventoried into the criminal legal system as a repeat offender with no option of drug court or any alternative treatment.



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