Odewale Peter’s Addiction Tale
I am Odetayo Peter, a 28 year old sickle cell warrior, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering.
I went to a military primary and secondary school, I didn’t grow up knowing I was a warrior though my mum and sister were warriors, I grew up thinking I was AS and everyone around me thought so too, I used to have abdominal cramps almost every Sunday and I was treated with ‘agbo’ and fall ill but I was given blood at birth and my genotype wasn’t know so it was assumed that I was AS. My sister was always sick too but she was taken to the hospital because she was a known SS for me it was home treatment. I played sports in school, I was a member of the cadet and also in the football team because I lived my life like I was AS.
So I noticed that I was very short in sec school, and at SS2 I was still bedwetting though it stopped at S.S.2. and everyone thought I was doing it because I am the only son and was a spoiled brat, when I finished secondary school I went for my A level programme in Adekunle Ajasin University, I was the football coach for my team and I fell ill with a terrible malaria I had to come back home so I could be admitted; on admission the doctor ran series of tests and that was when I knew I was SS and my dad and I didn’t believe it but it was my reality; so we discovered that I was SS at 17.
This news got everyone in my family teary and the doctor further went to tell me not to do the things I used to do like sports but I refused to leave sports generally even though I stopped football; which further made me not go to the NDA, I was raised in a military environment but this made my folks change plans from Nigerian Defence Academy to a private university Afagbalola University, Ado Ekiti where I studied mechanical engineering; in 2011 I had a major break down (crisis) I was hospitalized for six days; I had to go through transfusion which was my first till date with series of opiods; after sometime precisely 2012 Dec I lost my elder sister who was also a Warrior (SS) and that was the beginning of my addiction.
I was emotionally depressed which resulted in constant crises and I didn’t want a further botheration on my parents, so I decided to help myself and took to pentazocine; when I went back to school I continued with it because I was still depressed and I was using it as a way to get my pain healed; in school I was a chess player, handball player etc and mostimes when I do these rigourous activities I usually gave myself injection rather than taking tablets and up on till 2013 I discovered I was stuck on it because I was constantly taking 3 ampoules daily; so in 2014 death struck again and I lost my mum to sickle cell anaemia and then I was completely devastated; I was in 400 level and meant to start my IT the next day .
The day she died my aunt told me that I am now the man of the house and this statement made me act like I was strong and getting deeper into my addiction. I kept trying to heal my emotional pain and loss with it; I didn’t mourn my mother. At the time she died I was constantly using 10ampoules of Penta per day via IM or IV.
When my mom was buried I told my family members about my addiction, I was taken to Yaba and I was an outpatient and my folks thought I was better because I had to go to my elder sister’s place in Abeokuta were I was doing my IT and I was still on drugs and was taking it IV and increased my dosage from 10ampoules to 30ampoules per day and it continued till 2015. In 2015 my friends introduced me to cannabis, so I was now taking cannabis, pentazocines together and I had bilateral abscess on both buttocks they are open wounds that I still have till date, which I have to do surgery for. As of 2015 it wasn’t this wide so I had to see a plastic surgeon who referred me to psychiatric hospital and even in rehab I still look for ways to smuggle in drugs; it was like my suicide note since I couldn’t stab myself I had to drown in addiction, because I was not ready to heal.
I spent 6 weeks in the rehabilitation home and I convinced my dad that I was clean and so in march 2016 I was discharged from the rehabilitation home; and went home and on this particular day of my release I resumed pentazocine and I added sisha, rephenol, cannabis, alcohol, cigarettes etc I still had access to drugs because I had friends because I was also serving NYSC. My family told me that I was looking sick and constantly shaking so they tricked me to Lagos a psychiatric hospital and I spent 3 weeks there and I told my sister I was about being framed which was a lie from so I could leave rehab again and my sister sought for my discharged against medical advised.
Back home I continued with my addiction after leaving the psychiatric hospital again, at this point I cared less about anything, my sores were getting deeper I kept drinking smoking and doing a lot of injecting of pent on my abscess and at this point my dad placed me under house arrest for 3 months and in that I still found a way to contact my friends to bring in drugs for me, on a particular day my whole family was home and I was in the act but this time I was caught red handed and that was were I was admitted again in a psych ward this time it was the acute ward I was admitted and I spent 2 months in the acute ward. That was the beginning of my healing it hasn’t being easy we call ourselves addict in recovery because chances are that we can still relapse but I am still standing I haven’t relapsed yet and by God’s grace I wont.
To my warriors addiction can damage your organs faster please say no to addiction, it doesn’t help but gradually destroys you, be wise, be warned.