So now we're well into the fall. My Employment Insurance has been approved with no waiting period - so to speak - as I am on a Temporary Lay-Off which means that I've only lost my job for the time being and will be called back once the company can afford me. Pretty straightforward EI claim as they've got none of the normal verifying of the reason why an individual is applying. In Ontario, this means that if you are implicated and found even partially responsible for your job loss, EI can deny your application. This also prevents people from quitting their job just 'cause and then apply for EI. Both of these situations automatically disqualifies the individual. At that time, 2005, I was entitled to 60% of my salary but as next to no taxes or deductions were subtracted, it was almost the same amount as my normal salary with all of the required taxes etc were calculated. In my near addled junky mind, all I could think was "Sweet!" Business as usual.
And it was for the first couple of months...sweet, that is, but like anything else, this didn't last. One of my friends ended up becoming our dealer after we ended up having a falling out with our original one. My friend was, and as far as I know, still prescribed massive amounts of narcotic analgesics. On the first Wednesday of each month he receives/ed 720 8mg brand name dilaudids prescribed by his family doctor. I had filled this prescription many times in the past for him, and as he was/is not on any sort of drug plan, it cost him about $320CAD every month.
He received these due to some injuries he had sustained during a work accident. As far as I know, him and two other workers somehow ended up being literally buried alive for a large part of one of their work days. When they rescued them all, he had broken both of his legs, some ribs, his right hand and one of the fingers on his left hand. I know that he also sustained some nerve damage in one of his hands. As far as I remember, he ended up being in hospital close to six months. Anyway, initially he never actually used any of his pain meds as he quickly learned that they were much more valuable to him if he sold them outright. Before greed overshadowed everything, he sold his pills at 10 for $100, though this didn't last very long, or 2 for $25 or $15 each. Do the math. He made a shocking amount of money from this endeavor and as he didn't even use the pills at that time himself, it was all gravy.
Kind of ironic, but as long as there were pills easily and readily available, life continued on, and with it, the feeling one didn't have so much as a care in the world. Not surprisingly, this illusion could disappear in an instant and with no warning. The first time you woke up only to discover that the well had gone dry wasn't so bad. You hadn't yet trained your junky mind and body to go into automatic and painful withdrawal at this mere suggestion. Not yet, but very soon. By the end of this first day without the ready availability of pills, you actually managed to finally hookup. The moment you fixed, you felt returned to normal. Two weeks later when the same situation presents itself, your mind and body are less forgiving and understanding. Start to feel anxious and nervous the longer the day stretches with no sight of relief. Well into the evening, you impatiently wait but you're really incapable of doing anything much else as the waiting taxes every fiber in your body, and now it had started to become more and more frequent and difficult to find opiates on a daily basis.
After a short time, our bodies started to go into withdrawal when no opiates could be located, and this wasn't pleasant. This had started to bother me as obviously having to endure ever increasing periods of withdrawal was by no stretch enjoyable and I started thinking more and more frequently that there had to be something more than this. Also, our main connect had started to lose track of the picture, and had begun treating us with disrespect, and had begun to take us for granted. For the most part, Jim and I tried to buy these pills in bulk. There rarely were no more than maybe a half a dozen smaller purchases throughout the month. Now, one would thing that if one of his customers was buying 260 units monthly that perhaps he would be able to cut them a bit of a break, but sadly no. He charged us groups of ten - sometimes on the very rare occasion groups of twelve - which translated into 26 groups of ten units each, charged at $100 per group, which adds up to $2600 each and every month!
When I say that we were regulars, I truly mean that we were indeed that. I am in no way attempting to inflate our use, and in fact, am extremely ashamed and embarrassed even sharing this info, as it paints a pretty distasteful picture of what we allowed our addiction to become before we were finally able to put the breaks on it. Now for just over 24 months dealing with him, we never deviated far from this number. We almost always paid in advance, and always paid cash - no bartering or asking for them up front, etc. If we did have to request a front, it was rarely for more than a few days. Now, I get why he didn't want to cut us too sweet a deal as he had begun to rely on our money each and every month. Who wouldn't want to receive this amount, especially considering there was no work needed at all whatsoever in getting it? No hustling, no nickel and dime sales, less traffic coming and going to his house because he didn't need a dozen or so more customers minimum to replace the two of us.
TO BE CONTINUED...