User's story: The pain of making mistakes
I was living in Wagga Wagga with my new girlfriend, Carla and her three-year old son, Brian. I had just been released from jail. While I was in, I studied my Higher School Certificate equivalent and applied to study a bachelor of social science through
I was accepted and moved to Wagga Wagga near the university campus. Three months later I met Carla who was on methadone. I was in recovery in a 12-step program, but because Carla had takeaways in the cupboard all the time, it wasn’t long before I was skulling a 90ml takeaway twice a week. And so, after an overdose nearly costing me my life, an outstanding theft charge, plus the fact that Carla had just informed me she got a positive reading on her pregnancy test, we packed our things, bought a $900 car and off we went, the three of us, to
The plan was to find a nice unit to rent at Tweed Heads or Coolangatta, find local employment and provide a secure environment for the three of us, plus our new baby which was on the way.
After finding a dream two bedroom unit at Tweed Heads, on the beach for only $120 a week — a fucking steal — things began looking quite rosy. That’s until one day while doctor shopping for Valium and Rohies, Carla ripped a page out of the doctor’s script pad while he left the room for a moment. When we got home, she filled it for Serepax, signed it and off we went to a chemist over the border in
The pharmacist phoned the police and Carla and I were arrested. Brian was at home with the landlord, who lived above us and would sometimes babysit him. So I wore it and Carla was released. I was charged, bail was refused, and I was sent to
Next morning I asked them for my methadone. I was on 90 mls, picking up from Tweed Heads. They told me that if I would pay for a courier to bring it from Tweed Heads to
Shitting myself by now at what I knew I was going to have to go through, some dude was put in with me who had 200 Rivotril tablets in his undies. So the next nine days in the watch house were just a blur. When I got to the jail things got even worse.
By this time it was 21 days since I’d been dosed. Now anyone who knows about methadone and is reading this can imagine the pain of jumping off 90mg to zero. Two more days passed and I couldn’t even get a Panadol they were so stingy up there. Finally I had a seizure during a lock-in muster — it was the first and last one I’ve ever had.
The clinic at the jail kept me overnight, gave me one Valium tablet and sent me back to the wing the next day. I had to appear in court that day, so I was transported back to
I went straight to Centrelink to get a release payment. The girl interviewing me picked that I was in heavy withdrawal and that I was going to spend the money on ‘Harry’. After a while she looked into my eyes and said (you won’t believe this): “I’m on methadone myself — 100mg. I keep my job, pay my rent and have a child”. She actually gave me a 50ml drink over the counter in a polystyrene cup she had saved. After work, she drove me to Tweed Heads and waited with me until the bus left for
1. Don’t get caught over the border in
2. If you ever get a chance to go to university, try not to screw it up with drugs because it could end up costing you dearly.
3. If you do make a mistake and find yourself pinched for stealing or some other light charge, have the balls to stick around and face the matter, because not many magistrates will take your freedom from you for shit like that.
Illustration by Bodine
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