Serving Hard Time for Prescribed Drugs

ROB MCCLENDON: MIDDLE-AGED
WOMEN ARE THE MOST LIKELY
TO FALL VICTIM TO A PRESCRIPTION ADDICTION; IN
PART, BECAUSE THEY’RE MORE
LIKELY TO BE PRESCRIBED AT HIGHER DOSES BECAUSE
OF CHRONIC PAIN. COMBINE THAT WITH THE
FACT THAT PRESCRIPTION
MEDICATIONS DON’T CARRY THE SAME STIGMA AS STREET
DRUGS DO, EVEN IF THEY DO
CONTAIN THE SAME OPIATES. IT’S PROVEN TO BE
A LETHAL COMBINATION EVEN
WHEN IT DOESN’T KILL YOU. OUR ALISA HINES VISITED
THE EDDIE WARRIOR
CORRECTIONAL CENTER TO VISIT WITH TWO VERY
UNLIKELY INMATES. ALISA HINES: CALLIE
BARRINGTON DIDN’T THINK
SHE’D EVER END UP HERE. CALLIE: I, I SIT AROUND;
OBVIOUSLY I’VE HAD A LOT
OF TIME TO SIT AROUND AND THINK. AND NO, I WOULDN’T HAVE
EVER THOUGHT THAT. YOU KNOW, I, I GREW UP IN
A FAMILY WHERE WE’RE, I
HAVE THREE SIBLINGS; WE’RE ALL COLLEGE EDUCATED. I HAVE A SISTER IN THE
MILITARY, ANOTHER SISTER
THAT’S A SOCIAL WORKER, AND A BROTHER THAT’S A
MISSIONARY IN INDIA. I COME FROM, I HAVE
PARENTS THAT ARE SCHOOL
TEACHERS; BOTH HAVE MASTER’S LEVEL EDUCATION. NO, I WOULD NEVER
HAVE THOUGHT THAT
I’D BE SITTING HERE. ALISA: BUT
SHE IS, ALL THANKS TO A
PRESCRIPTION ADDICTION. CALLIE: FOR ME PERSONALLY,
I BELIEVE THAT UM, THEY,
SOME PEOPLE HAVE A PRE-DISPOSITION TO BECOME
ADDICTED TO SUBSTANCES,
WHETHER IT’S ALCOHOL OR DRUGS. I HAVE A FAMILY HISTORY OF
ADDICTION, SPECIFICALLY
ALCOHOLISM, AND I, I THINK PEOPLE ARE
PRE-DISPOSED TO IT BECAUSE
I, I KNOW THAT AFTER I STARTED TAKING THAT
MEDICATION AND THE LONGER
THAT I WAS ON THAT MEDICATION, YOU BUILD UP A
TOLERANCE FOR IT IN YOUR
SYSTEM THAT REQUIRES YOU TO TAKE MORE, AND IT’S
JUST A VICIOUS CYCLE. AND IF YOU DON’T, YOU
KNOW, RECOGNIZE SOON
ENOUGH TO GET OUT OF IT, YOU’RE, YOU’RE ALREADY
ADDICTED BEFORE YOU KNOW
WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU, AND YOU’RE ON THAT, THAT, THAT
CONTINUOUS CYCLE AND YOU
JUST CONTINUE TO TAKE MORE AND MORE MEDICATION AS
YOUR TOLERANCE BUILDS UP. ALISA: AN ADDICTION THAT
OFTEN LEADS TO CRIME. FOR ANITA DEARDORF, IT WAS
USING SOMEONE ELSE’S
PRESCRIPTION AND TRYING TO WRITE HER OWN,
THAT EVENTUALLY
LED TO HER ARREST. ANITA DEARDORF: WHEN I
FIRST STARTED USING
PRESCRIPTION MEDS, I WAS WORKING IN A NURSING HOME
PUSHING THE PILL CART,
DISPENSING MEDICATION TO ALL THE PEOPLE, AND I
DID REAL GOOD ON IT FOR
A WHILE, I LOVED IT, YOU KNOW, IT WAS REAL GOOD. BUT, THEN I STARTED USING
THE MEDICATION MYSELF. ALISA: AN ADDICTION
THAT CONSUMED HER LIFE. ANITA: I WAS HAVING
SEIZURES AND, YOU KNOW,
FAMILY PROBLEMS; LOTS OF FAMILY PROBLEMS. MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER
ENDED UP HAVING HERSELF
TAKEN AWAY FROM, FROM ME. SHE CALLED DHS AND SHE
WENT AND LIVED WITH MY
MOTHER UNTIL SHE GREW UP. YOU KNOW, WE’VE STILL GOT
A REAL GOOD RELATIONSHIP,
BUT I MISSED OUT ON A LOT OF MY KIDS’ CHILDHOOD. ALISA: FOR CALLIE,
INCARCERATION HIT HOME,
FINALLY; BUT, IT TOOK A 30-YEAR SENTENCE TO DO SO. CALLIE: I THINK THEY
THOUGHT THEY WERE HELPING
ME OUT AND THAT THE, THE HARSHER THE PENALTY THEY
COULD GIVE ME, IT WOULD
GET MY ATTENTION; AND, TO BE QUITE HONEST, THAT’S
WHAT I NEEDED AT THE TIME. I HAD BEEN TO SEVERAL
TREATMENT CENTERS;
I HAD TRIED THAT. I TRIED A LOT OF THINGS
AND I LITERALLY NEEDED
EVERYTHING TAKEN AWAY FROM ME TO REALIZE THE
SITUATION I WAS AT AND,
AND THE PLACE I WAS AT IN MY LIFE. AND LOOKING BACK NOW, I
UNDERSTAND WHY THEY DID
WHAT THEY DID; IT STILL IS A VERY HARSH SENTENCE. IT’S A LONG TIME, BECAUSE
ON A 30-YEAR SENTENCE YOU
DO A THIRD OF YOUR TIME, WHICH IS A FLAT 10
CALENDAR YEARS. ALISA: YEARS THAT ARE
HELPING ANITA REALIZE THAT
HER ADDICTION IS SERIOUS. ANITA: I KNOW IF I EVER
PICK UP ONE MORE PILL,
ANYTHING, SMOKE A JOINT, A DRINK, WHATEVER, I
WON’T STOP AGAIN. YOU KNOW, I MEAN, I’M
48-YEARS-OLD AND I’VE
PROVED THAT TO MYSELF OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN
THAT THE FIRST DRUG, THE
FIRST PILL, THE FIRST WHATEVER, IS I’LL JUST BE
LIKE WOW, WHY DID I EVER
QUIT UNTIL I’M RIGHT BACK INTO THE RUT TO WHERE
I’M PRAYING TO DIE, AND,
YOU KNOW, IT’S CRAZY. ROB: WELL PRESCRIPTION
DRUG ABUSERS GENERALLY
OBTAIN PAIN PILLS IN ONE OF FOUR WAYS. THEY COMMIT PRESCRIPTION
FRAUD AND SEEK PAIN
MEDICATIONS FROM MULTIPLE DOCTORS, STEAL FROM
MEDICINE CABINETS OF
RELATIVES OR FRIENDS, BUY THE PILLS ON THE STREET
OR IN SOME OF THE MOST
EXTREME CASES, COMMIT ARMED ROBBERY. WHEN WE RETURN,
PHARMACY DANGERS.

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