My name is Jay Nukkad and I’d like to share my experience with opioid addiction with you. I haven’t shared this story before but I feel that there are many people struggling with the same ailment that I do and I think that by sharing my story I can shed some light on an issue that many people either don’t know about or don’t take too seriously. Though I still sometimes struggle with the addiction, and temptations run high, I think I’ve found a way out and have been clean for over 8 months now. Here is my story.
I was a good high school student and decent college student, I always received at least B’s in school. I tutored frequently and many of my friends came to me for help with their classes. I had a great memory that could process facts and remember procedures quite well. All in all, I’d say I was an above average student.
This all changed when I was in a car accident my Sophomore year of college. I was traveling with a friend and he picked up his phone, ironically to look at traffic, when he smashed into the back of a car. I received some pretty serious injuries, a broken wrist a concussion and some pretty bad bumps and bruises everywhere else. I went to the hospital afterwards and got all bandaged up, they prescribed me some Oxycodone and I was on my way home.
I was in pain for a few weeks following the accident and would take an Oxycodone as prescribed each day. It affected me far more than I expected, I loved the feeling I got of tiredness and carelessness. It made the experience not so bad, I could just pop an Oxycodone and feel great the rest of the day. My friends loved it too, sometimes they would visit me and would find me hilarious in this state. As I transitioned out of the hospital, the pain began to subside. I could get by with ibuprofen for the rest of the recovery, but why take ibuprofen when I had 30 oxycodone pills still left over.
After I recovered, I continued taking the pills, they had prescribed me so many, it would be a waste not to use them! I used them on weekends when I would hang out with my friends and suddenly I was the life of the party. I went from being a rather quiet, intelligent individual to the friend everyone wanted to be around. I liked the new sense of confidence I received and blurted out whatever came to my mind, a candor my friends usually enjoyed when we were having a good time.
I didn’t feel addiction at this point, I was taking the pills purely for enjoyment. I managed to get my hands on some leftover pills at my parents’ house that they had from one of their surgeries and stole those. With my newfound supply, I was taking them every-other day so that I could enjoy myself on the weekdays as well as the weekends.
I think this is where the addiction truly occurred. My body began to crave the pills, and on the days, I didn’t take them, I felt terrible. It was impossible to even get out of bed without them. As my supply ran low I began to turn to darker sources to get my fill. What was an innocent experiment at the beginning transformed into a serious problem. I realized I was trapped, but I loved the feeling too much. I needed the pills to function and hated the migraines I received when not on the pills. As I found suppliers I upped the dosage and dreaded the times I wasn’t on the pills.
I knew I needed help, but the only way I could function was on the pills, and when I was on them, getting help was the last thing I wanted to do. I continued taking them for nearly two years when I finally ran out of money and my supply dwindled. My body couldn’t handle not having the pills and would shut down without them. I resorted to getting money any way I could to invest in the pills and would steal or panhandle to get what I needed. When I received help, it came from one of the few friends who hadn’t abandoned me, they took me to rehab, which I thought was a stupid waste of time. I refused to go most days but through force and the love of a close friend, I continued. Eventually I began to find days where I wouldn’t take the pills. I used this to go weeks and then months, and now I have gone 8 months and expect to go even farther. If you’re struggling through the same problem, there’s a way out. You need to have hope and remember that you can do it, eventually you’ll find a way out.