Citation: Drew. "How Ironic: An Experience with Amphetamines (Dexedrine) & Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) (ID 43994)". Erowid.org. May 7, 2006. erowid.org/exp/43994
When I was in the third grade, I was prescribed Dexedrine to combat what my parents and I had been told was ADD. Being a little kid, I had no idea what this was and wasn't very enthusiastic about taking pills and dealing with the stigma of taking my medicine in school. I didn't comply and eventually my doctor took me off of it, seeing as I wouldn't take it the right way and I couldn't eat when I did take it. I progressed through school and graduated in the summer of 1998.
I had been accepted to a big college(can't give the name) and didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life. My Academic Advisor suggested a pre-med major so that I could keep my options open. I followed her advice, and everything was great for about 6 months. The classes were easy enough, as I had gotten A's and B's in high school, and these seemed to be even easier than my high school classes. Around this time I started playing around with marijuana quite a bit. I had smoked on and off through high school, but never really made it a habit. I had forgotten all the fun I had smoking pot, and I soon was smoking every day, several times a day. I managed to keep my grades up and nobody knew what was up, not even my roommate, who happened to be my RA. College was a breeze and I graduated Cum Laude.
I made the decision, at my parents' urging, to enroll in Medical School. 'What the hell', I thought, I had to do something and I figured I wouldn't have any problem getting in, so I did it. The med school at the college accepted my application and my MCAT score was pretty high, so I guess they were pretty happy to have me. I stopped smoking pot at around the time my first semester ended. These classes were difficult, and the doctors and professors weren't understanding about missed assignments. My grades improved, and I excelled. My classes were narrowed down to groups of 15 or so students, and we would go on rounds at the hospital, which was weird at first, as I had never been in a hospital prior to this. We would visit different patients, and the doc taking us around would ask for our opinions. It was cool, it gave me a sense of power and I was in love with the idea of helping people. I had a great time and I graduated with honors and was taken on staff at the hospital where I had studied.
I loved working for the first six months. I worked usually 4 hours more than I had been scheduled, as I got really excited when I had to go to work. When I didn't have to work I would toke up with some guys from high school who I met up with at a concert one night. It was great, only I had a realization. I was a fucking doctor. I first realized what that meant when I was at a party with the same 3 guys from high school. We were all drinking and having a great time, when I went down into the basement of the house and saw people snorting something off of a CD cover. I asked them what it was and they told me that it was ritalin. Up until this I had never seen any abuse of prescription drugs, even though we had been warned about it in school. I stayed down there and talked for a while, when the subject of work came up.
One guy said he had a horrible day at work and was going on and on about it when he asked me what I did for a living. I told him, and he stared at me for a second with a disbelieving look. I showed him my hospital ID, and he kept looking back and forth between the laminate and me. He finally said, 'If you're a doctor, what the fuck are you doing here?'. I told him who I was there with and he said he knew them. He introduced himself and we shook hands, and I excused myself and went upstairs. Later that night, I met up with him again. Everyone from the basement was coming upstairs, and he came over to me with another guy and his girlfriend. They all looked really buzzed, their eyes were wide and they were talking alot. He finally asked me nervously if I could write prescriptions, seeing as I was a doctor. I told him that of course I could. He looked at his friends and quietly asked me if I could write him a script. I told him sure, as I was pretty drunk and he seemed nice enough. I had my script pad and a PDR in my car, so I went out there and took him with me.
We got in and I asked him what he wanted and what he needed it for. He said that he and his friends had just gone through the last of his girlfriend's ritalin, and they wanted more. I was flipping through the PDR as I listened to him, and noticed Dexedrine was listed under the same category. I showed him and told him how I had taken it as a kid, and he asked if I would write for that instead. I wrote it out, gave him 30 tablets of 15 milligrams each. He thanked me profusely and gave me a $50 bill. I was surprised and I tried to give it back, but he insisted. He gave me his number, and we parted ways.
Later that night, I saw him again, and he looked even higher than before. He thanked me again and said that they had driven to 24 hour pharmacy and filled the script. He showed me, and offered me some. I initially refused, but once again, he insisted. I took one from him and put in my pocket and forgot about it.
The next morning, I got a call from the hospital. They wanted me to come in, but I had a hell of a hangover. I reached in my pocket looking for some gum, but pulled out the dexedrine tab. Remembering what happened when I had taken it as a kid, and I popped it into my mouth and swallowed it dry. I got dressed and headed to the hospital, but halfway through my commute, I noticed a feeling that was surprisingly familiar yet somehow alien. I felt nervous and happy at the same time. I tried to ignore it, but eventually it got to the point where I couldn't. I arrived at work and almost jogged into the lobby. I checked the log and talked to the shift nurse. She sent me to a 17 year old patient who had been waiting for 3 hours, complaining of severe pain in her left flank area. We had a urine sample for her, and instead of having the nurse dip it to test for blood, I did it myself. It came back positive, and I went to talk to her.
She was writhing when I moved the curtain aside, obviously in a lot of pain. At this point I was definetly feeling the effects of the dexedrine. I couldn't slow my speech down, I felt amazing, and I felt like talking. I introduced myself, and asked her what was wrong. Sher told me her back hurt like hell and she was nauseous. I told her I would give her something for the pain and that I would be back to take a look at her in a little bit. I wrote the drug order and also wrote an order for a CT scan of her back. I thought this was probably a kidney stone, which I had seen before and which follow a similar pattern of symptoms. The dexedrine was starting to peak as I handed the orders to the nurse. I took the time to go to the bathroom, and I pissed for about a minute and a half, and it was the most satisfying piss I have ever taken. When I went back to the nurses station to check and see if my patient had recieved the medication, the nurse asked me to check it again because it seemed like way to much to give as a single dose.
I looked at it and realized my mistake immediately. I had written it for 10 mg of dilaudid, which is way more than anyone would need. I wasn't paying attention when I wrote it, and wrote the usual dose for morphine instead. I laughed as I crumpled it up and threw it away. I wrote out a new order for 2 mg of dilaudid and 25 of promethazine for nausea. I also told her to start an IV. I sat down at an empty desk and tried to straighten out my thoughts, which were racing like I had never experienced before. I tried to sit still but I couldn't so I ran to go get some coffee from the waiting room. When I got back, I went to visit my patient again. She was in much better shape now, and her mother was with her. She said she was really tired and asked what was wrong with her. I told her what I thought, and her mother asked how a 17 year old could possibly have kidney stones. I told her that they were uncommon in younger people but not unheard of. The girl's mother asked if using drugs could be the cause. I told her that cocaine could cause kidney damage, and therefore back pain and hematuria (blood in the urine), but usually took years of chronic use to develop.
The mother sighed and told me that a week earlier her daughter had come home from a friend's house smelling like marijuana and had alcohol on her breath. She told me she suspected her daughter was taking drugs but when she confronted her about it she said that she only drank occasionally and that her friend had smoked marijuana while she was in the room, explaining the smell. I said that drugs probably didn't cause her daughter's condition, and she thanked me. Her daughter had turned beet red and I couldn't tell if it was because of embarrassment or the pain meds. I asked if I could talk to the girl alone and her mother said it was fine. She left the room and I closed the sliding glass door so we could have some privacy. I asked her how everything was going at school and with her friends. She said everything was fine and dandy. I asked her how her family life was, and her smile kind of drooped. She said her parents were always hassling her and when they weren't on her about school they were yelling at each other.
I could empathize with her, as my parents divorced when I was 10. I asked her if she needed to talk to someone, and she told me no. I asked her how she was feeling, and she told me, 'great, I feel awesome. This is great.'. I paused. Usually people who get injections of dilaudid with promethazine are knocked out within 10 minutes of the shot. She was alert and responsive, not tired at all. I told her it was kind of odd she was feeling no pain whatsoever. She just shrugged her shoulders and smiled. I asked her to sit up so I could take a look at her back. She did so, and I seperated her gown and started my exam. I pressed on her back with a pen and asked her if she felt pain. She said no. I asked her what her pain had felt like. She said it had originated in her kidney, with shooting pain into her bladder whenever she had to pee. I ended told her she could lay back down, which she did, and I opened the door to leave. Her mother came back in as I was walking out. I stopped her and told her everything seemed pretty consistent with a kidney stone and that we would take good care of her daughter. She thanked me, and I left.
While I was walking, I started concentrating on the feeling from the dexedrine I had taken. It had been an hour and a half since I had taken it, and the effects seemed to have gotten as strong as they were going to get. I went to the bathroom again, and finished my coffee. I was starting to relax when a nurse came and tapped me on the shoulder. 'The girl in room 8 is asking for you.', she said. I got up again and went to her room. I asked her what was wrong, and she said her back hurt again, worse than before. I told her I would have it taken care of. She thanked me profusely and I went on my way. She had gotten a shot of dilaudid 20 minutes ago, so she should have been fine. She seemed ok to me when I talked to her, but I decided to believe her and had a nurse give her another milligram of dilaudid. I heard no more from her until she was ready to discharge, and I gave her some promethazine to take home along with 15 vicodin for pain.
I advised her to drink alot of water for the next couple days and her stone would pass on its own.
The rest of the day was normal, and I forgot all about the dexedrine. When I went home, I decided to call the guy from the party. He came by my apartment and gave me 2 more dexedrine before he left.
I had to go in to work that night, and seeing how the dexedrine had made it easy to get through the day, I popped both of them, hoping for a stronger effect than I had earlier. I definetly got more than I bargained for, and an hour later I was flying. I was gnashing my teeth together, talking to myself, and sweating like crazy. I was flushed red, and my hands were shaking. I checked in, and ran to see my first patient. My ears were ringing and I couldn't hold a train of thought. I had a giant smile on my face when I walked into the room. The patient was a 21 year old woman who was holding her arm wrapped in a t-shirt. It was soaked with blood. She had been bitten by her neighbors dog while getting her mail. She was in alot of pain, so I told her I would give her something for it.
As I filled out the order, I decided to take it myself to get filled. I pulled alot more dilaudid than I need, about 4 milligrams over. As I capped the syringe and back to my patient, I started getting tunnel vision and my heart started beating really fast. I recognized that I was having a panic attack. I ducked into the bathroom to try to calm myself down. I splashed water on my face, but this didn't help. In a split second, I pulled out the syringe and plunged it into my thigh, right through my scrub pants. I pushed down on the plunger without thinking. I pushed it down until there was only 2 mg left, and pulled it out. I flushed the needle down the toilet and headed to the room. I got a new syringe out of a drawer next to the bed, and told the patient to turn over so I could give her the injection. I gave it in her thigh, and she thanked me. I put the syringe into the sharps container, and took the shirt off of her arm. She had a really bad wound, down into the muscle.
I told her she would need a tetanus shot, and a rabies vaccine since she didn't know whether the dog had been immunized. Better safe than sorry. As I got up from my seat, I felt really dizzy and my head felt like it was a balloon, seperate from my body and floating on its own. I sat back down, reached into the drawer and dressed the wound on the woman's arm. As I was doing this, the dilaudid kicked in really quickly. I felt amazing, and the dexedrine was making it even stronger. I had never felt this good in my entire life. I finished up, and told the nurse to have someone else give her the tetanus and rabies shots. I felt so good, I just stood there and stared forward. I felt great physically, and my head was tingling and itchy at the same time. I was called to see another patient and by the time I got there, I was definetly high. Actually, blasted is a better way to describe how I was feeling. I loved it. The only other time I had taken a narcotic was in my second year of med school, when I broke my arm in a skiing accident. I loved it then too.
I waltzed into the next patient's room, and saw the same girl who came in earlier with the kidney stone. 'What's up?' was the only thing I could manage to say. I had never seen the same patient twice on the same day. I expected her to be home asleep, as kidney stone patients usually are, especially with 4 milligrams of dilaudid in her system. The conversation went as follows:
'I hurt again, but this time its on the right side'
'Is your mother here?'
'No, she had to go out of town to visit her mom. She has cancer and is supposed to only have a month to live, so my mom went to take care of her. My brother brought me here.'
'So where is he?'
'He just left. He went to hang out with his friends'
'Did you take your pain medicine before you decided to come back?'
'Yeah, It didn't work. I took two when I left here, but htey didn't help at all, so I took 2 more'
'That is way too much for somebody your size to take, especially after the shot we gave you. It could hurt you.'
'But my back hurt alot. I ran out of the pills about an hour ago'
She showed me the empty bottle and I was shocked. I was also pretty damn far gone from all the drugs I had taken. I told her she couldn't have any more injections and I couldn't write her another prescription. At that point she frowned and repeated that her back hurt. I told her there was nothing I could do. She told me that it was fucking bullshit and she deserved to not be in pain. I asked for another urine sample, and tested it when she gave it to me. There was no blood. She had either passed it or it wasnt a stone to begin with. I told her this and she got even more angry. I told her I would ask another doctor, and went back to where her urine sample was sitting. I got a drug test from the pharmacy, and screened her urine. It was positive for marijuana and cocaine. I asked her why she lied about the drugs, and she told me she hadn't. I went to find an orderly or a security guard to escort her out, as she was obviously lying. When I went back to the room, I smelled smoke. She was laying on the bed, smoking a cigarette. I told her to put it out and that the hospital was a smoke free zone.
I told her she would have to leave and that I would have to contact her mother about the incident. When I said that, she sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed. A pipe fell out of her skirt pocket, and shattered on the floor. It was glass, and didn't smell like marijuana. It smelled more like burning hair than anything. It was a crack pipe. She was so high that she had smoked crack while I was out of the room. I sobered up for long enough to realize what was happening, right as the security guard walked into the room. She yelled for him to help her, that I had tried to rape her and that she had kicked me and a pipe fell out of my pocket. The guard grabbed my arm, and she ran out of the room and sprinted out of the hospital. I told him what had really happened and he ran after her. The guard returned about 10 minutes later, saying he couldn't find her. I relaxed, and the drugs took hold over me again. Later that night a hopspital administrator approached me as I was getting ready to leave for the night. He told me that he had recieved a report that I had allegedly assaulted a patient and that I may or may have not been in possession of drug paraphernalia at the time.
He told me I would have to be suspended with pay until it had been investigated. 'Whatever', I thought and I left. I hadn't done anything wrong. The next day I got a call saying I would have to have a drug screen before I could return to work. I panicked. I had dilaudid and amphetamine in my system, and I would be fired for sure, maybe even arrested. I asked the caller why this was necessary, and she told me that it was standard procedure whenever an employee was accused of drug use. 'All employees must follow the rules, doctors are no exception. Anyway, it won't show anything and you can come back to work as soon as we have the test on file.' I hung up the phone and sat on my kitchen floor. I was screwed. I had 2 days to have the test done. I started drinking as much water as I could possibly fit into my body, drinking to the point of nausea and then resuming when the feeling past. In 6 hours, I had drunk 10 16.9oz bottles of water. I was peeing every 5 minutes, and I started to feel better. I kept drinking all night, alternating coffee and water so that the caffeine would make me piss more and keep me awake to drink more water.
I came to work the next day and was handed a urine sample cup by the same administrator who had stopped me the day before. He said I had one hour to fill the cup. I put it in my pocket and went to the bathroom. I peed 8 times in that hour, and collected a sample from the last time. I gave it to the lab, and went back to the E.R. to see my next patient. About 3 hours after I gave the lab my sample, the physician in charge of the emergency room came to talk to me. She said that I had passed the test, but I had an unusually large amount of amphetamine in my urine. She asked me what could have caused this, and I told her I had taken some sudafed the day before because of a cold. She said that made sense, but I was going to be placed on probation regardless. She told me that if I needed help I could always talk to her, no questions asked.
Dexedrine almost cost me my job and the respec of my peers. I could easily have tested positive and been fired. I would have wasted 10+ years of schooling and well over $200,000 spent on student loans. All because of a series of stupid decisions that never would have happened had I been thinking clearly. I will never ever touch that shit again, not because I don't love the feeling, but because I can't control my use of the substance.
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