Ever since I was a child, I knew that I wanted to work in the health field. I was always interested in science and health classes and would excel in them. Biology was always my favorite class. In high school I took every type of biology class that was offered. I did shadowing in hospitals for different types of careers. But I decided that nursing was my calling. I always had an interest, actually almost an obsession with cancer, so my dream was to become a Registered Nurse specializing in Oncology. But could my chosen career path lead me back to drug addiction?
My addiction started during my junior year of high school. But that didn’t stop me from doing well in school. At this point I was using OxyContin, mostly because it provided me with so much energy. I often took OxyContin if I had to stay up late studying for an exam. So when senior year rolled around, I was still using OxyContin pills. I still somehow did well enough in my studies to be accepted to Bloomsburg University for nursing. I was so excited!
A week before my high school graduation, I was in a serious car accident where my right wrist was sliced open. I had extensive damage and was told by my orthopedic surgeon that I would never regain function in my hand or wrist again. I was considered disabled at this point and had to have ongoing doctor visits, physical therapy, etc. So my dreams of going to Bloomsburg were shot.
My OxyContin Use Led to Heroin Addiction
I did not give up on college. I attended local community colleges where they offer one of the best nursing programs around. I received a life changing surgery where I regained function in my hand/wrist. Unfortunately however, I was now a full blown pill addict where I needed to take them all day, everyday. My OxyContin drug addiction somehow didn’t get in the way of college. I made the deans list and was accepted into the clinical component of the nursing program. However, by the time I got into the clinical program, I was using heroin. While ongoing OxyContin use didn’t seem to stifle my education, heroin caused me to lose all motivation to further education and schooling. Thus, I dropped out of the nursing program and college.
Long Term Recovery and Pursing Schooling and Career Goals
6 years after dropped out of nursing school, I am now in long-term recovery and want to conquer every goal I set for myself. I no longer use OxyContin, heroin or anything else – partial thanks to the medicine assisted treatment known as Vivitrol (Naltrexone).
I recently landed a job as a nurse’s aid working in both the home and hospital setting. I also am going back to college and found out that I only have to take 1 course and then I can start clinicals again. I am living proof that addiction treatment and long-term, lasting recovery is possible.
The questions “if you are a nurse, you are going to be around pills, isn’t that going to be a trigger for you?”, “What if you have a patient that is on fentanyl…what on earth will you do?” have come up several times. To be honest, I can’t answer that question. I won’t know until I get out into the field as to whether or not it will become an addiction trigger or not. However, I refuse to waiver and I will remain dedicated to my long-term recovery. I will continue pursuing my goals and dreams and won’t let the concern about the possibility of addiction triggers stop me from accomplishing my dreams.
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Written by Megan Sarah, Blogger for Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide, Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC)
Edited and Published by William Charles, Founder/Owner/Publisher
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