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A Pharmacist’s Story of Recovery

pharmacistDrinking was fun in high school and made me one of what I thought of as the “cool group.” When I went away to pharmacy school, the drinking continued and it was even cooler to be able to use drugs at that time. I started practicing my profession and the drinking continued as recreational fun along with use of some of the medications I was now dispensing. At some point it all got away from me and I became a habitual user, addicted specifically to opiates and most forms of downers including benzodiazepines, barbiturates and other sedatives.

My life appeared to be fairly normal, viewing it from the outside. Such was not the case though. I was spiraling downhill and my addictions and drinking turned into a 25-year downhill tailspin. My drinking and using finally ended me up in a detox unit and very shortly thereafter, in a psychiatric ward. I finally admitted, when I was soon confined to a residential drug and alcohol treatment unit, that I was an alcoholic and a drug addict. I became aware that I was suffering from a disease, mainly alcoholism and drug addiction, and my life was totally unmanageable. I ended up in that treatment center for 2 weeks and was off work for 4 months. I was sick!!!!!

What really changed my life was when I truly started working a program of recovery. I started going to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and attended lots of aftercare meetings at the treatment center I had gone to. I got a sponsor, waiting longer than I should have to do so, and started working the 12 steps of the AA program. That was when my life started to turn around and things got better for me. I went back to work as a pharmacist and continued to work my program of recovery. Life was not "rosy rosy" like I thought it was going to be but it was immensely better than it had been when I was drinking and using.

My life just continues to get better and better the longer I am in recovery. I have been clean and sober now for nearly 25 years and still attend two to four AA meetings a week. Each meeting reminds me that the disease is always there, waiting around the corner for me. I enjoy working with and talking with fellow pharmacists in recovery and hearing how our lives have improved since recovery has become the cornerstone today. I am grateful for everything the program has given me and for how good my life is today. And, I have this immense faith that if I continue to work the steps, stay in contact with other alcoholics and addicts, and help others then my life will only continue to get even better.

—A Recovering Pharmacist


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