A Community in Pain: woman’s pain prescription leads to opioid addiciton

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Have you ever been prescribed pain medication by your doctor? Pills are often prescribed to fight arthritis, a broken bone, and other difficult medical issues with a long healing process.

Recovering addict Whitney Herron told us that withdrawals are the worst thing she’s ever experienced in life.

Like many, Whitney’s relationship with opioids started with a prescription from her doctor after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Shortly after that, her mother died from cancer – causing even more pain in her life.

“During that time, I think my abuse really started,” said Herron.

The pills prescribed to curb the pain of arthritis, she said, also helped to numb the rest of the pain in her life.

So, she began to take more.

“Everything became an excuse to take an extra pill,” said Herron, “and an extra couple pills and a few pills and then it just spiraled before I had a hold of it.”

This left her scrambling at the end of the month when the pills would run out.

In order to continue getting that high from the opioids that she became used to, she turned to buying pills from other people until she could get her next prescription filled.

“At the worst, I’d say I’d spend $150 a day easy, which is insane,” said Herron. “I was dying inside and miserable. I ruined my family financially. I came close to just bankrupting my family.”

In the end, she said it was her family that realized she had a problem and tried to help.

“I remember my dad saying, ‘Why don’t you just quit? Just stop it. Put it down. What’s wrong with you? You’re not stupid. Just stop.’ I wish it was that simple,” said Herron.

Herron tried quitting several times using different treatments.

It wasn’t until she said she hit rock bottom that she was able to conquer the grip of opioids.

Herron said, “I was tired and I was ready. I was ready to wave the white flag and just say, ‘Hey, somebody help. What I tried isn’t working.’”

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