My story is like many others stories of addiction perhaps with a slightly different ending. I became addicted in 1996 to prescription painkillers following a motorcycle accident in which I injured my back. I was started on Vicodin but quickly advanced to Oxycontin or Roxicodone. However, as my tolerance grew so did my desperation. Prescriptions only lasted a few days so I resorted to buying them.
I began snorting & injecting also. My job afforded me the luxury of always having clean needles.. All the while I was covering on the job, as well as, sneaking what I could from work.. Stealing came later but it came all the same. Shocking what you will do to stop the pain of withdrawal. Eventually, pressure from work become too much so I quit & quietly entered an inpatient rehabilitation program at an out of town hospital. Needless to say the program didn't work. Several rehabs, divorces, a few trips to jail & 10 years later I found Methadone! Nobody had much faith it would work. Most of all me. However, I had just been diagnosed with Hepatitis C oddly enough from a needle stick while working as a nurse instead of drugs. To make matters worse I was on the street with my son. I had to do something & this was the only thing I had not tried.
After one week it was as if my drug use had been a dream! I wasn't high. I wasn't sick. I was normal! My family had the person back that they had missed for so long. One Year & 6mo. later I am still clean. Unfortunately, my HCV has advanced to liver cancer. Nevertheless, that has not prevented me from continuing with my program. I decided to make this video because I was so tired of defending a program & a medication that has saved thousands. My life may be shortened but it won't be because of drugs! That is a comfort I cannot explain. As I say in my video....Methadone is not the ONLY way but it was the ONLY way for me. If this video can help one addict find a normal life through MMT then it will be worth all the hard work I put into making it! Have A Blessed Day!
I am very sad to announce that on 2/28/09, Kristina lost a long battle with Hepatitis C and liver cancer. She will be missed. Here is her obit from the Daily independent News...
Kristina Phelps - 1973-2009
Kristina Leigh Phelps, 35, of Louisa, died Saturday in St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, W.Va.
She was born May 1, 1973, in Louisa.
A graveside service will be at 2 p.m. today at Setser Cemetery in Fallsburg.
There is no visitation.
Young Funeral Home in Louisa is in charge of arrangements.
PROBLEMS IN NEPAL
Hello, fellow advocates - We need you! I have been contacted by a wonderful organization in the Kingdom of Nepal...asking for our help, suggestions. Nepal is a country inbetween India and China, as best I understand it....geography was never my forte.
Nepal is on the verge of starting Methadone Program with the Support from
UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) and the Nepal Government, however they are a few so called abstinent pundits who have started writing hate-mails to government, donors and users activists. They did try to have meetings and consultation with them and most of the ex-users are convinced that this program is much needed. However there are few remaining extremists who still are writing hate mail to them.
They have tried writing them back with scientific
evidence but they are so closed minded that they insist they are
doing it for the sake of dollars.
If anyone could share ideas on tackling this issue it would be very much appreciated! They fear that if this continues, the government might get influenced and decide to cancel their plans for the methadone program.
I really am so excited to open this new area of the website! We started with a little advocacy section on our info/news page, but have now outgrown that and couldn't be happier!
If you have a project that you are working on....something that you might have done in the past...something that you would like to do...or ANYTHING/ANYONE you would like to see added to this page, simply drop me a line!
Be Unstoppable is a group who has been working hard in our community and spreading the word of the myths of Methadone. We are students of Springfield College the School of Human Service. We are required to find something in our community's research and try to help that particular cause. We realize that this topic is controversial but does need to get people attention. We have spoken to people in our local communities; spoken to people in our churches and now online about our mission. We are so excited and feel so blessed to be able to share our story and encourage others to do the same in their communities.
From left to right...Chasity, Liz, Adriana and Gheisha who is missing
As the last part of our grade we will be doing a big presentation, finally a chance to educate our peers and show everyone what we have been working on for the past year. That day we will be showing an inspirational movie, our personal stories a nurse practitioner, and lastly a former Methadone user how is now non- dependent and working hard within her community and sharing her struggles.
PLEASE SIGN PETITION!
"It took AIDS activists 21 years to get Congress to restore federal funding for local programs that supply clean needles to drug users. It's taken Republicans a couple of months of hardball negotiations to get the ban reinstated."
Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, Dec 25, 2011
It was sticks and ashes in our stockings this year from the GOP, but we're not going to wait another five years to get the federal ban on syringe access funding lifted again! Our GOP opponents, teh White House, and our too-soft supporters in Congress are all going to be hearing from us loud and clear over the coming months. Our first step is to let those who led the charge know we are watching, and holding them responsible.
Speaker John Boehner (OH- R) and Chairman Hal Rogers (KY- R) are the two Members of Congress most responsible for reinstating the ban on the use of federal funds for syringe exchange. Please join us in letting them know we strongly object to their actions by signing this petition today, and please spread this alert far and wide.
They will deliver them in person with as many signatures as possible by February 15!
This article has been a lonnng time coming! Hoss Kitts is a Super Advocate and someone I am PROUD to call "friend". We are all grateful for and aware of the wonderful support that he gives everyone on his We Speak Methadone forums...or his "baby", lol. However....that is just part of what Hoss does. He was also NAMA's Chapter Director for the entire state of Virginia and in that capacity has been there for patients needing bigtime help......as in going to court etc. At present he is now chapter director of Southwest Va/Southern WV. So it's no surprise that Hoss received the award for NAMA's Advocate of the Year for 2004....that was presented to him at the AATOD conference that year. (see photo at top)
Recently I got to watch as he helped clear up a miscommunication with a clinic in West Virginia that a patient was having a hard time with. He did it quickly and without going into all the gory details.... all's well that end's well! He has an understanding of MMT....education of the drug itself and the rules and regs that go along with it....and the compassion and heart to deal with the patients that are scared for whatever reason. I've said numerous times that we need to clone Hoss for ALL the states!
All of this from a little 5th grader who started playing saxophone and who's dream was always to be a professional musician. Hoss went through high school, made All County Band 4 years in a row, from his freshman year, made All District Band in his junior year, and ALL STATE Band in his senior year. Well, Hoss.....you may not have ended up with the musical career you dreamt of....but you are definitely one of MY heroes!
The American Methadone Treatment Association (AATOD) and Danya International Present.......
The Joy of Being Normal
Tapping into the Department of Corrections
Submitted by Annice Burns, a Methadone patient and Nama Certified Methadone Advocate