Straight Dope Excerpt #4 Stephanie

Posted: March 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Stephanie, 41

Biracial, sharp, very articulate, unemployed

I was adopted when I was very young. I have one brother and I am very close to my family. In high-school, I would go to football games and then to the after parties, where there would be kegs, which is when I started drinking. I made some new friends in that circle that smoked weed, so I started smoking weed. Someone in particular who I was really good friends with, had an older brother and sister that were heavier into drugs. So you know the trickle down effect of being at the right place at the right time, they would expose us to harder drugs. I went from marijuana to coke, and from coke to meth.

My drug use started off like anyone else, on the weekends with meth. I noticed that I could study longer and that there wasn’t a negative effect on my grades, initially. It was something that I didn’t feel I needed, it was an option. I graduated high-school a year early and went to San Diego State, but my parents thought that I was not mature enough to deal with university life, so I went to junior college. There I met up with people who were not serious about their education, but more interested in partying. I spent a lot of time doing that. I didn’t need meth, it was fun and I didn’t need it to feel okay, it was an enhancement.

I think one of the reasons why I got into drugs is because my parent were overprotective. My Mother was a stay at home Mom and my Father was an alcoholic. They had a pretty loveless marriage and it was clear that they stayed together for reasons other than love. I don’t want to say that they lived through me, but my achievements became theirs. So they had high expectation of me and I think for many, many years, my goal was to please my parent. When I started doing things that were against what they approve of, I became very sneaky. My parents didn’t discover that I had a problem until I ran a red light. When the cop pulled me over, the car reaked of skunk bud I was smoking. The cop then called my parents, cited me, and that was the beginning of my legal issues. I got put on probation and my parents were surprised that I was involved in anything like this because I was maintaining my grades. Any expectation they had of me, I met, so there was no reason to think that something was going on. After that occurred, they sent me to a psychiatrist. My drug use all had to do with people I surrounded myself with. I wouldn’t have never picked up coke if it hadn’t been for a coke head I met, or a sugar-daddy that I always made it available.

Growing up being biracial, being adopted had factored into my self esteem, my self image. I was self accepting, but I was uncomfortable with how other people saw me, and I had a lot of issues with people challenging my ethnicity. I didn’t know for many years my exact racial make up. I spent many years in Lemon Grove in a predominately African American neighborhood and they rejected me. I begin to dislike African Americans and began to reject any possibility of being black. And so that causes a lifetime of my own personal issues because I’m not typically in line with being against people because of the color of their skin, but I didn’t have those same challenges with other ethnicity’s.

But a lot of that had to do with where I was raised. We moved out of that neighborhood to La Mesa, which was predominately Caucasian and everybody identified me as Caucasian, and that’s how I identified myself. I would only run into obstacles with people who were racist. And it was very sporadic. People wanted to see me as white.

I initially went to college for psychology, but I was hired by my best friends husband who was a pharmacist as a pharmacy technician. I was still smoking weed while working and on occasion, using coke and meth on the weekend. I never got a daily habit that was detrimental, until I injured myself on a dirt bike accident. I was learning how to jump my bike and I crashed, breaking my tailbone. It’s the type of injury that you cannot cast, it has to heal on it’s own. My doctor put me on painkillers,vicotin, and opiates until my doctor determined that I don’t need it anymore. When I look back on that, was I taking them because I was still in pain or was I taking them for the high? It’s scary for me because it took two years for my tailbone to heal. Damn. I used to not be able to sit without a foam doughnut. In class I had professors tell me that I was distracting them from teaching. It was really hard for me to make it through the day and so the drugs were medically necessary, and they also provided a certain kind of pleasurable experience. So when my doctor denied my refill, I panicked. Since I was working in a pharmacy, I started creating ways to get them.

My appetite for the substances – vicotin, Valium, and Soma grew, and since I had an endless resource to them, the tolerance grew quickly. And so, I was doing a lot of things to obtain them, not just stealing them for work, but also calling them in. I was impersonating a doctor and I started working at a company that processed prescriptions online. If you have insurance and go to the pharmacy with your card, they would call my company to find out how to use your benefits, and our servers would submit to the pharmacy online what the co-pay is for the drug. So I started taking and creating my own patients because I had access to the medical records and doctor DEA numbers, which are given to doctors to prescribe drugs.

 How long did this go on?

Four years. The night before, I would line up all my drugs and in the next day throughout the day, I would take 20 vicotins, three to four Valium, and seven to fourteen Somas. A pharmacy that I was using, and I was using all of the pharmacies in San Diego, had found out that one of the DEA numbers I was using was from an out of state doctor. I thought that using an out of state doctor was easier because it was harder for the pharmacy to value it’s authenticity. Well, a savvy pharmacist got hip and tried to contact one of the doctors and verified that the doctor had no such patient. The pharmacist then called me and said, “I don’t have this certain prescription in stock, can you come by and pick up the ‘script?

For more, pick up Straight Dope: A 360 degree look into American drug culture at Amazon.com now!

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