Drug Disposal

Meet all the opiates and opoids I had left in my cupboard once I was off. How did I end up with such a stockpile? I’m not sure. It was a confusing time. I had been reducing for a long time. I was not a drug addict. I never had feelings of desperation or urgency over my drugs, except to treat my pain. My pain had been going down for years, as Dr. Plance was injecting me with Vitamin C, more and more frequently. I paid no attention to how much I had around.

Vicodin, Lortab, liquid morphine, morphine pills.

Vicodin, Lortab, liquid morphine, morphine pills.

While I was getting off and since I have been off, medicines like these have become very hard to get. This makes me very angry because pain is real and drug addiction is a separate issue. Why is this so hard to understand? 

I have many friends who lead lives of terrible suffering from pain. They cannot endure more problems. Just let them have their drugs, and make the drugs easier to get. I don’t know how I would have coped when I was in so much pain, if getting pain treatment was like it is now. I don’t know what I would have done. I could get 90 Vicodin at a time when I needed it, back then. Ehlers-Danlos is the mother of pain diseases. We can have pain like people dying of cancer. Give us a break.

I know how hard it is to get drugs like these now, because I get Vicodin to take with me when I travel, in case I get hurt. No doctor minds giving it to me, because I have never been a drug addict. But can I find a pharmacy to fill it? No. The pharmacies tell me to come back another day and hope it is in stock. WTF? I have a life now, I do not have time for this unprofessional, bullshit run-around. When I was too sick to have a life, I could do not things like come back later, because I was so sick and in so much pain. Duh. Who the fuck is in charge of this mess? Now to get Vicodin, I mail the prescription it to the home delivery pharmacy my insurance runs. God forbid I actually needed it stat. Unbelievably wrong. Downright abusive to patients.

Back to the time when I had come off all these drugs ... I thought about keeping my stockpile. I thought if the zombie apocalypse happened, I could hand a pain pill to everyone injured while fighting the zombies in my neighborhood. 

But I was having nightmares that I sleepwalked and took a Vicodin at night. Scarier than zombies!

Also, I thought, this is a dangerous amount of drugs to have around. What if someone came into my house and took a lot, not having any idea how powerful they are? They could die. Many times over. I wanted no part of that.

The day came when I made it to 90 days off. My pain was tolerable. I did not need opiates to relieve it, even though my body was perceiving pain extra extra extra strong due to long-term opiate use now ceased. I was not going back on them. They expire in a year. The doctor told me not to take any opiates for one year, to let my body adjust to life without them. Time to get rid of them.

I called the Hard Drug Pharmacy to ask what to do with all of this stuff. The nice Indian lady with the British accent who had guided me through my titrate answered. Yay! I had never told her my name. Did she realize it was me? Don’t know, but I was so happy to hear her voice. It was interesting conversation:

The pharmacy won’t take the drugs back.

The doctor won’t take them back.

You cannot mail them in anywhere.

I took my stockpile to the Los Angeles County Sheriff. That’s the only place you can get rid of them. The only place! They have a locked drug disposal box. I wonder whose job it is to go empty that.

The sheriff listened to my story. He congratulated me and gave me a hug. He suggested I sit in a hot tub for my joint pain. I would never do that because immersing myself in hot water relaxes my too flexible body even more, and I will have a massive pain blow up 12 - 30 hours later. Nonetheless I thanked him for his great suggestion. EDS is too difficult to explain.

Really, this kind man was just a volunteer sheriff, with a uniform and a badge. His wife had died of cancer. He told me all about it. He was still distraught. We had a moment. He gave me another hug and another heartfelt congratulations. He took this pic.

The Sheriff Station in Marina del Rey.

The Sheriff Station in Marina del Rey.

Proud of meself!

Madora Pennington