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Tracie’s story

Tracie, 48, became addicted to codeine after injuring her knee in an accident at a theme park.

“I liked the feeling the painkillers gave me, so I didn’t stop.”

I hurt my knee in an accident at a theme park when I was about 15 and was prescribed Solpadol to ease the pain.

I very quickly became dependent on it and it got to the point where, in my early 20s I was also taking additional codeine doses. My husband pointed out I was taking more and more but I liked the feeling the painkillers gave me, so I didn’t stop.

I soon became addicted, taking painkillers every four hours. I would go into a meltdown if I was running low. Over the years my friends and family tried to make me realise that I had a problem, but it was my husband who finally lost it and made me realise what I was doing.

I ended up seeing something on TV about opioids and I may as well have been there on set as it was just me. So, I made an appointment to see a doctor who referred me to a drug and alcohol programme. I was offered methadone to help with my addiction, but I quickly refused, so I went cold turkey instead. It was the most horrific experience of my life, I was aching from head to toe, sweating, having mood swings and unable to sleep. It lasted all weekend and I actually thought I was going to die.

“It lasted all weekend and I actually thought I was going to die.”

Unbelievably, that was the easy part…staying off pain medication was the hardest thing. I’ve had a few relapses since, but years on I can see the pattern of addiction and how easy it is to fall into. I don’t want to go back there again.

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