How One Medical Professional Overcame Addiction
Engineers. Lawyers. Accountants. Doctors. Nurses. No profession is immune to the disease of substance or alcohol misuse. The high regard that society holds medical professionals in is definitely a category that is well-earned and respected. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t human and vulnerable to the obstacles that everyone else faces. Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease that can directly impact anyone, and this is a story about how one medical professional overcame addiction.
Joy Sutton, host of American Addiction Center’s (AAC) Recovery Stories from the Pandemic series, had the opportunity to interview Gerald Bowen, a healthcare worker who has been working throughout the pandemic.
As anyone can imagine, working in the healthcare field over the last year and a half more than likely has been daunting. Mix the gravity of that responsibility with their own personal commitments and family matters, and it understandably has gotten overwhelming at times.
In this honest and straight-forward interview, Gerald discusses his addiction to Percocet. He went from using one pill a day, to three, to over ten pills in any given day. He realized he had a problem and checked himself into Oxford Treatment Center, an AAC facility located in Etta, Mississippi. You can listen to his personal experience with addiction in this full episode.
If you’re struggling with an addiction to prescription pain pills, you’re not alone. Not only is AAC the parent company to Oxford Treatment Center, but it is a leader in addiction treatment with facilities across the nation that provide treatment in a safe and supportive environment. If you’re battling with substance misuse, please reach out for help.
Overcame Addiction to Prescription Pain Pills
Gerald Bowen is like so many individuals in America. He’s married, has an amazing family, and has a thriving career, which so happens to be in the healthcare field. He’s also self-less, as he remained committed to serving the public throughout the pandemic. Back in March of 2020, he was testing people for the coronavirus out of a warehouse in his local community where he worked.
“I was on my feet almost 12 hours a day. And I just noticed that I was over-utilizing my medicine… just depending on the medicine too much… I would run out and I would get sick, and I would try to find any substitution to help me with the pain…” said Gerald.
Around 2016 and 2017, Gerald had surgery, which was when he started taking Percocet. He also has arthritis in his knee and plantar fasciitis, which causes him a great deal of pain if he’s on his feet for long periods of time. He worked for a pain management doctor, and he was able to receive his Percocet prescription from him, which he would refill regularly.
When asked when he realized he had a problem, Gerald opened up and said, “…at one point I just became numb. Like I wasn’t even feeling pain…”
Perhaps many people feel the same when misusing pain medication. Perhaps, for some individuals, that is the point: to not feel anything.
Gerald goes on to describe what life with Percocet evolved into. “I woke up. I had to take the pain medicine before I made it on the highway. I have two children. I typically don’t yell at them. Don’t spank them. I felt myself just being angry and being mad at them all of the time. Not showing my husband all of the attention he deserves… I just started noticing different situations that made me upset and angry that I typically don’t get upset and angry about.”
Gerald was facing these obstacles as he helped others and worked through this pandemic. He is now living a sober life.
To learn more about Gerald Bowen’s story, please watch his interview in its entirety: Recovery Stories from the Pandemic series. And if you find yourself struggling with misusing prescription pain pills, please reach out for the help that you need today.