Prescription medication addiction has been thrust into the spotlight recently due to the death (in April 2016) of global superstar Prince, who it has been since revealed was struggling with an addiction to opioid painkillers for the past twenty-five years. Since then, there have been many stories about how prescription drugs are responsible for many more addictions than people may have previously been aware of. Nick Selig is a former addict from Canada and is speaking out to warn others of the dangers of prescription medication, having struggled with a benzodiazepine addiction himself at a very young age.
Nick was exposed to the dangers of drug addiction at a very young age when he witnessed his mother in the grips of a drug-induced seizure when he was just a young boy. He recalls how he was terrified as he watched his mother fall and hit her head and then jerk and twitch on the kitchen floor. Her head was bleeding from the knock it took as she hit a kitchen cupboard on her way to the floor. He admits that the episode haunted him for years, saying, “Naturally at that age I thought she was dying.”
You would be forgiven for thinking that Nick would have steered clear of drugs, having seen first-hand the dangers of abusing drugs, but unfortunately, he too struggled with a drug addiction as he got older. Just twenty-five years old, his life has been filled with traumatic experiences. He spent time in foster care and descended into a prescription drug addiction, under which he began stealing while under the influence.
Nick did not meet his biological father until he was twelve years of age, but like his mother, Nick’s father also had a prescription drug addiction and was an IV drug user. This family history of drug abuse, plus the fact that Nick was already taking benzodiazepines for anxiety, meant that the youngster had little hope of escaping the drug problems that were to come. He said, “I think it was a mix of being exposed to strong medication at a young age and seeing my parents abuse prescription narcotics. My experience of drugs got very intense very quickly.”
Not everyone who takes prescription medication will develop an addiction, but some risk factors make a person more likely to be affected. Sadly, for Nick, he ticked a number of these boxes. Not only did he have a family history of drug abuse but he had also suffered a traumatic experience and was himself exposed to drugs at a very young age.
At the age of twelve or thirteen, Nick and his sister were placed in care, but Nick, who was desperate to see his father and gain his approval, would often run away from his foster carers. By the time he was fifteen, he was living in a group home and was abusing painkillers. It was at this point that he took up with a bad crowd. They stole a van, which they then took for a joyride through the streets. He was arrested and charged with theft. He said, “It was definitely the worst thing that I’ve done. It scares me now to think about it. It scares me to think about what could have happened that night.”
Nevertheless, Nick did not stop there and amassed around twenty criminal charges while still a minor. He admits that many of his crimes were carried out to fund his drug habit, and added, “A lot of the small theft was to help offset the cost of getting prescription drugs because they’re not cheap when you don’t have a source of income.”
Nick was lucky that he managed to get help for his addiction while still in his teens. He is also incredibly lucky that his offences were all committed when he was a minor. He now has a clean record and is sober. He was sent to a rehabilitation centre that he likened to a boot camp. Because he was reluctant to accept help in the beginning, he spent longer at the rehab centre than everyone else who entered at the same time as him. Nonetheless, he finally admitted that rehab was what he needed and, after completing his programme, he was accepted back into foster care by a couple who had just two previous dealings with him.
Nick now works as a service advisor and has a stable relationship and has had a child. However, over the years, he has witnessed drugs take the lives of three friends. He also continued to have dealings with his biological father, who fell even deeper into drug addiction. Nick is keen to tell his story now to warn others of the dangers of prescription medication and how benzodiazepine addiction can destroy lives. Prescription drug addiction continues to be a problem both in his home country of Canada and here in the UK.
Thankfully, private and public organisations around the country are working hard to ensure that those affected are getting the help they need. Addiction Helper is also working hard to help people access this help. If you have a problem with addiction, contact us today for advice and information on where to get help.
Source: The Technological Herald