LAFAYETTE,Ind. (WLFI) – If prescription drugs are used as prescribed they can be a lifesaver. If not, as seen in Tippecanoe County, it can be a death sentence for both the user and others. Count Lafayette woman, who we will call Jane, as one who sees her methadone prescription as a lifesaver.
“The positive for me is that it has saved my life,” she said. “I do not think about using. I have not failed one drug screen.”
Jane did not want to reveal her identity for the sake of her children, but said she was a heroin addict for 10 years.
Heroin is a drug that is classified as an opioid along with other painkillers like Oxycontin and morphine. In April, Jane decided it was time to get clean and got a doctor’s prescription for daily doses of methadone — a drug that was created to help heroin addicts, like her, get clean.
It can be abused. In fact, between 2003 and 2013 methadone was involved in 40 of the 155 accidental deaths involving drugs in Tippecanoe County — a rate of more than 25 percent. Jane believes addicts and doctors who over prescribe the drug helped create a misconception about methadone.
She said the way her clinic regulates her use of it has helped her succeed even if it means a trip seven days a week to Indianapolis to get her dose.
“You have to do so many classes and have no positive screens to get a take home,” Jane said. “You have to wait 90 days to get one bottle. So, the first 90 days you get one then you have to wait another 90 days to get two.”
Jane said she’s tried almost a dozen times to get clean. Rehab and cold turkey did not work. Her fiance, who was also a heroin addict at one time, said he has seen the difference in her this time around.
“We’ve virtually destroyed almost everything in our lives,” he said. “With her being on methadone, we’ve been able to get to a place where we really feel like we are starting to rebuild. It feels like there is real hope.”
She said the most important part about her treatment is the support groups the clinic offers. She also attends Living in Balance groups at the Bauer Community Center in Lafayette.
“You have to have the support, but you have to be willing and wanting to be clean,” she said.
Her days are long with traveling. But she said it is worth it to make sure her life is long, and she doesn’t become a statistic.