I have 12 years of continuous sobriety, which is an amazing achievement in my life, but certainly not an easy one and certainly not one that I would have ever dreamed possible.
Over the 12 years, I have had many close calls to relapse. Alcohol is always there and it is always easy to grab a drink. However other things, like prescription drugs, have been more tempting to me. Drinking is one thing, but prescriptions seem to be more alluring to me.
Just a few weeks ago, my son had his wisdom teeth removed. The doctor gave him 10 pills of a controlled pain medication. When I filled the script, I felt warning signs in my mind. Did my son really need this medication? Should I have it in the house? How will I handle this?
I dutifully had the prescription filled, if my son needed it for pain, I wanted him to have it in the house. He shouldn’t suffer because of my demons.
I had the medication in the house for a few days, and then one night I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. My mind started racing. I could take one of the pills to help me sleep – it’s not a sleeping medication – but from past experiences I know that it would knock me out. I was trying to rationalize taking one.
The medication was in a cupboard. But I could almost feel its pull, like the amber bottle was glowing from the inside beckoning me towards it.
I kept obsessing about the medication, even Googling information about it. It was almost like the amber bottle started glowing, calling out my name. I was extremely close to taking the medication and relapsing.
Somehow at 2:30 in the morning I was able to assess this behavior and address it as full-blown relapse behavior. I reached for a few Benadryl (sometimes I take that to help me sleep), and soon I fell asleep – without taking the prescription medications.
I woke in the morning, startled, knowing that I had come close to taking the pills. Quickly, I found the bottle and disposed of them.
I know that I can’t safely have medications in my home because they call out to me in insidious ways. My house is safer for me, and sobriety, if I don’t bring any controlled prescriptions into the house.
Adam Banks is a certified recovery coach and interventionist at Suntra Modern Recovery. He received an MBA from the University of Chicago and built a company which United Health Care acquired. He learned his rigor and attention to detail from his career as an airline pilot, holding an ATP, the FAA’s highest license.
Suntra Modern Recovery provides medical treatment for alcohol and opiate addictions via video visit with medical doctors. Suntra’s alcohol and drug intervention services are available in New York, Long Island, and the Hamptons. Treatment for opiate and heroin addiction, including Suboxone treatment, can start today.