Make Methadone Available in Emergencies!
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Why is it impossible to obtain Methadone in an emergency? I tried to go cold turkey, only to have a fit, my friend called an ambulance and the paramedic gave me some Ibuprofen and Paracetamol! I was in a really bad way and he told me I would have to sit in A&E and then I may not get Methadone as the Doctor can decide and they usually refuse he exclaimed, he told me I shouldn't waste my time. I understand people misuse the substance but as you can guess I desperately wanted to get clean, I started using due to depression and loneliness. Better monitoring and not tarnishing all with the same brush, demonising people who made a silly mistake and there is usually underlying mental health issues that are not addressed. When such issues are addressed you are offered more drugs to help, offering drugs to cure drug problems is logically stupid, it leaves a thought in my head.. why is this drug ok but not the other? The impossible task of obtaining it in times of need, only makes the illegal sale of it rise. Not everyone wants to just take it and sell it, by realising that even those that have managed to get unsupervised consumption go on to sell it, shows that people are always going to defy the intended guidelines for use. I believe that if there is a history of heroin use that in an emergency, Methadone should be readily available. The total annual cost to society of alcohol-related harm is estimated to be £21bn. The NHS incurs £3.5bn a year in costs related to alcohol. Treatment with methadone costs £3,000 to £5,000 per year per addict and the average period in the programme is 10 months. The total national cost is £800m a year. A study showed findings that 42 per cent of heroin users who began Methadone treatment reported having stopped using the drug and 29 per cent reduced their use in the month prior to their assessment.
I am calling for better screening process in the long term, Methadone made available in absolute emergencies and where mistakes have been made and local centres shut at weekends, also make drug centres more frequently open calling for volunteers if there is not enough funding, but pointing out alcohol abuse costs a lot more and is readily available in the shops. Drugs are drugs end of, they harm people and the people close to them, but proper attention can solve problems.
'They are all the same, can't trust them and they are nothing but junkies and thieves!'
This is something someone who has been in the position of drug addiction constantly hears, as soon as you are honest and ready to admit your problem and seek help... not making sense is it? Why would someone who is seeking help be called this STILL?! I say still because society implies all drug users are no good and are all thieves, care for nothing and no one. Perhaps at some stage this may have been the case, one or more of the aforementioned. HOWEVER, most people that are seeking help and support have stepped away from the life they are or were leading and desperately seek a new definition and the approval of a family member, close friend or "support worker" to begin the path toward being a drug free "normal person".
I won't act like every single user is innocent, there are scum bags, but there are also the overlooked type of user. The depressed, anxious, agoraphobic, heartbroken, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters you get where this is going, the person just like you that found their escape in drugs. A drug quite often mistaken for a normal part of life is alcohol, a drug that can be bought from ya local shop and has killed billions and continues to everyday! A comparison I'm using because its as easy as buying beer when it comes to drugs. The middle class think because they spend £14 on a bottle of red, well several bottles of red that they are somehow above alcoholism and are simply enjoying the finer things in life. Yeah, listen, drinking in the morning and after the school run and basically at any given chance you get, shaking without your glass in hand and the thought of no Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the morning still makes you an alcoholic Tarquin. Using a stereotype to deplete a stereotype may seem unfair but I deliberately use alcohol as it is recognised a disease and treated by the NHS as such. It is as common as the assumptions about its users.Now, when I decided to seek help with my clear as day drug problem I took the necessary steps, I made sure I got support with my son. As my mental health had already deteriorated way before my drug use I had already called upon my family with that matter, I then turned to my borough and local services, a small group assigned with the task of supporting drug and alcohol abusers in regaining control of their lives. I have never met a more incompetent bunch of patronising eggheads in my life! It sounds so harsh, not all were the worst and they are busy and do an important job but I am allowed to voice the feelings of my experience and I must add I can matter of a fact vouch for others, but every single time I leave the company of any of the key workers I feel ten times worse and more distant from my goals and the thought of recovery always feel a step further away, I say this because they tarnish everyone with the same brush, for instance.. when I first attended I admitted to 15 months of drug use, at a later date I read a report from one of the workers from when I first approached them, they said I had clearly cut and dyed my hair in an attempt to hide the length of my drug use. Now, if I already admitted to 15 months use and the hair test can only screen 12 months drug use why on gods green earth would I attempt to cover up the length of my drug use by cutting and dying my hair?! Either they have completely ignored my confession of time of use, or they have already planted in their head that I must be a liar because I'm a druggy?! On two occasions they made mistakes on my prescription, resulting in me having no Methadone over a weekend, another thing thats baffles me is that they are closed on a weekend?! The last time they ruined the prescription, me and my mother sat for 18 hours searching for Methadone, we tried everything everywhere! The internet, phone calls, the phone book. My doctors was shut and he can't prescribe me as he is working for Hackney and I'm Islington, I absolutely have no idea how its ok for him to prescribe my other medicines but not Methadone. My mother eventually caved and gave me money after I threw up bile on her, she was horrified and reluctant but couldn't watch me like that anymore, withdrawal is one of the single most awful things I have ever felt in my life. It took me less than 15 minutes to obtain Heroin, she was so angry, she had called the CGL out of hours line whilst I was out and found they had disconnected the line?!! Absolutely appalling. NHS direct put me through to a doctor who refused me. The hospital refused me, its the doctors discretion. Another example, I had already been attending for 3 months and my key worker was still trying to understand why I had relapsed? She kept saying I have to try harder and its just not good enough, that was of course whilst she scribbled on some paper which is supposed to be my 'plan of recovery' and then nodded a few times when I spoke then prompted me to sign my plan. I then said to her before she tried to usher me out of the counselling room that my doctor had been pressing me to try some anti-depressants, she stuck her head up surprised, 'Oh and do you think its that your depressed?' Well blimey, it might just be, fatigue? Bursting into tears overtime we speak, lack of appetite, missing appointments or just freaking out on the way?! I had just registered with my new doctor and after 5 minutes of chatting and mostly blubbering he told me he thought I was manically depressed and signs of social anxiety, he tried to throw some borderline personality around and I refused as I think everyone has it if you look up the symptoms, we discussed my problems in depth as he wondered the root of the tears flowing. WHY WHY WHY..?! Did CGL not pick up on this, not even get close to a conversation discovering any of this, just give me a prescription for a substitute of the substance I was using and send me on my way, not address why I had started using, why I relapsed or why I can't hold back tears for longer than 60 seconds?! The point being, I'm just a druggy to them, I have no feelings, my drug use is just because I am a fiend who needs to feed her selfish drug monster inside. HI! The monster inside I am trying to fight off, what I don't want to take me over. Help me fight this demon! Can I just add I never robbed any grannies or supermarkets etc, I didn't start using just because I'm extremely selfish, I am selfish in the fact I was too lazy to face my problems and get help, but at the same time helpless in knowing where to turn. People would sit and use with me, then turn their back on me when I needed help, with lines like 'I can't be around you on that stuff, theres no helping you, you're in too deep' HA! Can't be around me? It was ok when you wanted to escape your woes for an evening and even bring it in my face when I was trying to kick it?! Pester me to get you something and reside in my home until not a fag butt was left then fuck off. 'Hi its Tina, I'm in a bad way can you help me out? This is the Vodafone voicemail service...'Its hard to even have a problem with something, it always goes back to the drugs. Although a major point of fuck up in ones life, the problems that lead to it need to be addressed. I say this for all users that do have an intention of getting their life back on track. Demonised constantly, why treat any other drug differently?! Treat them all the same, people say weed is not so bad, well someone rather close to me had a battle with Schizophrenia after marijuana abuse. He was violent and just not himself, no one believed that weed could be the cause. It bloody well was, as soon as he ceased his intake his mood swings stopped, slowly but surely we got the person we knew and loved back. I want people to know how awful one is treated due to a mistake, a big mistake yes, the same as alcohol abuse, marijuana abuse etc. Making it harder for someone to obtain help because of their preference in mistake? Thats what it boils down to, I aim to open the eyes of people who look upon users as all the same. My mother is a fine example, she once saw users as shady characters, after seeing first hand my struggle and my treatment, her opinion has changed and she to is disgusted at the lack of empathy and support available for people in my position. The lack of support for people in her position and support in how to cope and deal with her emotions. A stressful time made worse because she has to go through all the shit I do because the lack of resources available, all because of my stupid mistake. A mistake I live with and accept, the pain it has caused my family, the shame I carry passes onto them, with every whisper some fool slurs. Take a step back and think of the mistakes you've made, I wonder how you would feel if that mistake was constantly pulled up and discussed even without your presence, constantly whispered about and in turn given filthy looks and disconcerting glances. Basically, mind your own business or be nice. Even better, get your facts then attempt to understand each individuals situation before you make them feel shittier than they already do with your uninformed opinions on matters that either don't concern you or have no harm to your life but plenty to others. If you don't have anything nice or constructive to say, don't say anything at all! When you see your friend acting odd, out of character or really delving into drinking/drugs, take some time to be there for them before it gets too late. I never want anyone to feel how alone I felt when I decided to turn to drugs as my friend.
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