Amber Dee’s book.
Prescription Drug Addiction – Caught By Surprise.
I hastily packed and flew to Fort Lauderdale. Landing around midnight, I walked outside and was surprised to see a police car with two men in the front seat. No one had mentioned that the car picking me up would be a police car. I was afraid to get in but what else could I do? Drawn into a strange town in the middle of the night, where else could I go? They might grab me if I did not comply. I had been duped by a recruiter!
Cautiously, I slid into the back seat. The officers said that most people were not so cooperative. I kept quiet and endured the stale stench of cigarettes. Driving down the streets, they pointed out landmarks of interest, as if we were on a sight-seeing tour. I barely peered out the window, unable to see much in the darkness. I knew they were just trying to make light of a heavy situation. I sat there and imagined the intense struggles that must have occurred in that car; “hostages” fighting against being committed. Fear still permeated the car’s interior… fear of the police, the very ones who should have protected me in my time of need.
Upon entering the psych ward, the main door snatched shut with surprising speed. I heard the clicking of locks behind me when the officers left. I was immediately relieved of my personal belongings, including cell phone, then strip-searched by a female employee. With fear was rising, the only saving grace was that I had just taken my prescription Oxy and Valium. It didn’t look like the hospital personnel would medicate me in time. This looked more like a jail than a hospital. And the nurse-patient relationship was that of a warden-inmate.
The small dingy admissions room had a TV up in the corner. The movie playing was terribly violent. I looked around the room. Neither the admissions man nor the other patient, a rough, disheveled Latino, seemed bothered by it. I wondered “Isn’t it counterproductive to let criminals watch violent programs?” I said nothing and just ignored the TV. With tired eyes, the admissions man occasionally glanced up at me while filling out tons of paperwork.
Later, I was required to join the two men for a smoke break. “But I don’t smoke.” I said. “I’m not allowed to leave you alone here.” he explained. We sat in a dimly lit courtyard and talked some. The other patient, Juan was a hardened heroine addict and drug dealer. He’d been here before and knew how to work the system. “The food is good here and they give you methadone.” he reassured me.