Who's the Daddy: Hidden risks of painkiller drugs
Having taken heroic amounts of industrial strength painkillers for the past 12 months, it turns out that it’s quite hard coming off drugs.
Two hospitalisations from injuries of such comic proportions that, had they been filmed, would have comfortably earned £250 each off You’ve Been Framed left me in agony that only strong opioids and controlled drugs could touch.
Favourite drink? 20ml of Oramorph please. One slug of that and nothing matters for the next 10 hours. Some people like it on the rocks but I like to knock it back like tequila with a dab of salt and a squeeze of lemon.
The list of drugs I’ve been on sounds like the goalkeeper and back four of a hard-as-nails Argentina football team from the mid-1960s. Gabapentin; diclofenac, codeine, valium and morphine.
That’s not to say they weren’t needed at the time. But when I was bombed out of my box on prescription opioids two weeks after smashing my elbow and wrist to pieces in a cycling accident last summer, I came round the next morning to see four missed calls from a friend of 20 years who, when I returned her call the next day, their partner explained she’d suffered a terrible accident and wasn’t expected to survive. She didn’t.
The worst thing about being parked on a drug such as gabapentin is how it can alter your personality, especially at the start. The word I’d use is ratty.
Anyway, enough’s enough. And thanks to a pharmacist and my GP, I’m coming off gabapentin now, which is the last of them. Apparently you can’t just stop taking it as all hell breaks loose so you’ve got to taper your withdrawal.
I’m not sure what’s dependence now and what’s addiction. These drugs make life bearable, but after a year on high strength medication of one sort or another, it’s not hard to see why this country’s in the grip of an opioid epidemic, on top of everything else.