Me...and me alone...got me into this!!
Back in the last century, my gynecologist gave me Percodan for the horrendous headaches (cycle related) I used to get. "Good drug," he told me, "they gave it to me years ago (he was around 70 then) when I had just had surgery...and it stopped the pain and I felt great." Those were his very words..honest-to-goodness!! (Now we're going back to about 1983 or so...before pain meds were high-stepping across the national stage, like The Rockettes!!)
At that time, I had no idea just how "great" I would feel....but soon found out. Only difference was I honestly did not abuse the drug. Thirty tablets could last me six months. He'd told me they were very strong...and so did his nurse/receptionist....so I was very careful. In fact, I took only half a pill at a time.
But, we all know the end of these sorts of "fairytales", because we've all been there. And, although, I never asked for more than that amount he prescribed..it did not take me long to link up the connection between pills...and their good buddy..."addiction". At that point I was not physically hooked--but definitely considered them a "reward" at the end of the week, etc. They became something to look forward to....a mental craving.
You've all heard my crazy story about how, eventually, I began taking the Vicodins offered by my cousin (a true pain sufferer with such nightmarish back and leg problems that she keeps needing surgery.) By that time, my gyn. had retired....so no more percs. But the few hydros a day my cuz gave me substituted for them. I never doctor-shopped, went on-line, etc--but I did take those "alms" offered up by my cuz. She seemed so happy to share them. Maybe because they didn't make her feel much better mentally...and she had more than enough quantity of pills to stop her own very real pain. So...as close family members...it was "all in the family"!? And...I never said "no".
Though I once took more pills than the few a day I do now--I never got to the point where I could face, once and for all, the awful physical and mental withdrawals. (the depression was the worst) Now, my cuz is on just oxys--and I take two 40's a day...but she's going to be re-prescribed the Vicodins...and I'll switch back to that, knowing it is not quite as bad as the oxys. (Not that it's GOOD!) I'm just rationalizing.
To some, my pill intake may seem small--but the fact is, I HAVE to take that amount I do just to fend off the withdrawals and depression. It's addiction no matter how much my brain tries to distort the simple facts. I do consider myself lucky, in that I never wanted to "up" this dosage. In a fairytale world--or in la-la-land....I could say to myself, "well, I take them only "as prescribed". But--hey--I'm not the one they were prescribed
So, Michelle, this rambling answer to your debate question is, undeniably "Yes! I am definitely
responsible. Not only did I "see it coming"--but I stepped out to the middle of the road to flag it down!!!"
Like you, I had no idea that I was actually re-wiring my brain circuitry. But...no way could I deny that I'm the one who kept moving along this route.
I will fault others only in that (a) my doctor was either naive or ??(who knows!) and (b) the pharmaceutical companies (those little money-making machines) kept it very quiet as to how difficult it was to just "stop taking them." Even today, years later, there are still doctors who say "if you're not an addict, you'll have no problems just stopping this drug." What a load of nonsense!!
But, aside from the above two considerations, no matter how much I would love to place the blame at someone else's feet....I'm afraid that, these drugs--like a boomerang--make a turn--and just come straight back to me
Like you, I'm interested in the responses to your question. It seems that most of us, like you and I, started down this route prepared for just a short hike--and what we got was an endless trek!!
xxx Lynn xxx