The Oprah Winfrey Show: Prescription AddictionDecember 30th, 2009 - 3:12 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason
By Angela Kaye Mason
Dec 30 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Yesterday’s Oprah Winfrey show gave us a scary look into the world of prescription drug addictions. Dr. Oz was a guest star via satellite, and he explained how many people become addicted due to the fact that they truly need them for pain. Sadly, these people become physically dependent on them over time. Another group of people become addicted to pain medications because they have emotional pain that they use these drugs to numb. When they cannot get a doctor to prescribe them any longer, they begin to buy them from dealers, who get prescriptions themselves, and then sell these drugs on the street, which, of course, is highly illegal. Dr. Oz tells us, “If you cannot go a day without a certain drug, then you are addicted.” More people are abusing prescriptions drugs in the United States today than cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy combined.
They show a mother, Cheryl, who explains what her life is like. When she wakes up without any, she calls everyone show can think of to get more. She stated that the people she is buying from are not junkies, but people with jobs, kids, lives, everything to live for. Her son, Steve is also addicted. He started taking them at the age of 15. He heard his mom and grandma saying they were stressed and needed hydrocodone. He said when he got to a certain age, he felt he was stressed too, and stole his first two pills from his mom, which he deeply regrets now. His mom was in a horrible accident with a semi years before, and was prescribed these pills for pain. When her son was 15, he began to steal her pills. She admits that she has shared pills with her son, and says that it is very shameful, but she cannot stand seeing him going through withdrawals. She no longer has a job, and rarely leaves the house unless it is to get more pills. She knows that she does not physically need them, but is addicted. She has spent most of the money she had on pills, and says this addiction has cost her over a hundred grand easy. She stopped making house payments a few months ago, because she needed pills. She says, “When you first start to take these pills, you have no idea that this is where it carries you.” She and her two kids have now been evicted and are living “couch to couch” wherever they can. She said that after the first year, you can no longer get enough to be high, that she now just takes them to function. She had taken one fifteen minutes before the show, and explains that she is not high now, this is just her normal. She tells us that she has taken about 1500 milligrams of pain killers,called Vicatin, but she can still drive, and function normally. Dr. Oz says that this is a huge problem, but is a socially excepted way of dealing with life. He says that sadly many people get addicted in the same way that she did. He instructs us that if we go to a doctor, and he has not relieved or pain within two weeks, stop taking those pills, and get another doctor.
Steve shared how he had tried to break this addiction himself. Oprah asks him how he feels about his mom sharing her pills with him. He said he tries not to think about it. He needed a few minutes before answering. He said that it is different, it is weird. Oprah asked him to give her a real answer. He said she feels more like a friend than a mother. It has been going on so long, he feels like he has lost his mom, and doesn’t have a mom anymore. His mom had gone to her doctor and told him that she felt she was addicted , and he said, “Well, look how long you have been taking them, yes, you are.” One has to wonder why the doctor kept prescribing them.
Her daughter tells what it is like for her. She has learned to take care of herself, her mom, and brother. “All they want to do is lay in bed all day and have pills.” She said she misses everyone being real, that everything is fake. The last birthday party she had, was when she was 8. She says there is no Thanksgiving, no dinner, she is on her own. She is on the honor role at school, the cross country team. She is growing up without a mother. She tells us how she had to go to her dad for all of the personal teenage stuff. Her dad is no longer living with them. This girl is 15 years old. She said that when she talks to her mom and brother, they are not there. When you look into their eyes, you can no longer see their heart. She has gotten used to it. It is their normal, so it has become her normal. She said that she couldn’t really talk to her counselor, because she was afraid of being sent away to a home. She said that her and her mom are very distant, that she cannot talk to her about anything. She added that there is no point in talking to her mom, because her mom cannot hear her, it isn’t going to her heart. She feels like she is alone. She told her mom that she could not let their addiction drag her down, because she has too much to live for. Her mom told her, “I am sorry for all the times that I am not there for you.” She answered, “I don’t want you to be sorry, I want you to be happy, and you are not happy. I want you to stop.”
Oprah, of course, offered intervention for this family. We can only pray that they can overcome these addictions and have the changes in their lives that they so desperately need.
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Tags: addicti, angela, certain age, cocaine, dr oz, ecstasy, emotional pain, grandma, guest star, heroin, horrible accident, junkies, mother cheryl, oprah winfrey, oprah winfrey show, pain medications, pills, prescription drug addictions, prescriptions, withdrawals