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Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?


sdm
sanjose
Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
These questions are for everybody:

Do you know of anything in the pharmaceutical industry that would prevent a person who was a user of meth from becoming a pharmacist?

Would a meth addict in recovery becoming a pharmacist be like an alcoholic in recovery becoming a bartender?

I have heard of addicts that are in recovery that have NO DESIRE for their drug of choice. Does that also mean they have no temptation for the drug?     

Amber who was a Meth slammer spoke at our Meth Summit meeting. Her story about her meth life included all the terrible things that have been described on this KCI board by other addicts. In summary, after knocking her mother unconscious with a phone as she was on her knees begging and praying for Amber not to leave with her dealer to live in Mexico, Amber (age 17) was arrested and eventually sentenced to Juvenile Drug Court.

Standing at barely 5 feet tall and weighing 75 pounds, Amber said that she hated everybody and was planning on completing the Drug Court so that she could get high again.

However, after 9 months of forced high school classes, cleaning her room, keeping herself clean, and being responsible in many other areas “I BECAME WILLING” to get into long term recovery. After completing Juvenile Drug Court I went to NA and have been attending ever since and have over 3 years clean and am an NA sponsor for a young female addict named Ana.

Amber explained that you have to use the tools that you have acquired and live life on life’s terms. Amber is now a student at the local college and is majoring in chemistry to become a pharmacist and was working as a Pharmacy Tech. Amber said that a few days before her speech today her employer found out that she was a meth addict and told her that she could no longer be employed at the pharmacy; they told her “once an addict always an addict”. Amber said that life gets rough after getting into recovery sometimes but that she will remain in God’s grace and will stay clean one day at a time. Amber concluded by stating that “THERE IS HOPE”.

Although we had a lot of important people speaking, including the Attorney General of Arizona, Amber got the only standing ovation as some one yelled out loud “WE LOVE YOU AMBER”. There were lots of wet eyes and at least one lump in the throat that I can attest to.

Amber is currently the Vice-Chair of the County Juvenile Justice Community Advisory Committee and has stated that she wishes to dedicate her life to reaching out to other drug addicts exposing them to the light that she’s found in recovery

     Replies...
lax2 Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
I don't think Id want to be a pharmacist any more than I'd want to be a drug dealer or a bartender......unless I wanted easy access to drugs...and I don't.
Reason Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
Do you know of anything in the pharmaceutical industry that would prevent a person who was a user of meth from becoming a pharmacist?

Aside from a criminal record, no. Since Amber was a minor during her little spree, shouldn't be an issue.

Would a meth addict in recovery becoming a pharmacist be like an alcoholic in recovery becoming a bartender?

Absolutely not. Pharmacology is a broad science, with fields such as microbiology, toxicology, and physiology. While chemistry is part of the discipline, the emphasis is studying how drugs interact with the body, not the development ("cooking") of the drugs.

Certainly, there are other interests which are less connected with drug use, but pharmacology shouldn't expose her automatically with greater meth temptations.

I have heard of addicts that are in recovery that have NO DESIRE for their drug of choice. Does that also mean they have no temptation for the drug?

Well, by definition desire is a prerequisite for temptation... but in my experience, such cases are rare. Addicts forever know exactly what they enjoyed about their drug of choice.
no more
mething
around
Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
My friend's sister out in AZ was a pharmacy tech. She started out clean. She had been a meth addict/alcoholic. Went to school, etc.

She soon began stealing and using meds. Pain pills, ADHD drugs...she then stole more, sold them and returned to meth.
She lost it all again.

Maybe not a good idea .... perhaps Amber is being given a big PUSH by the man upstairs to help heal others with her words and not with medicines.

I do, however, agree with Reason also. It is very much an individual thing.

A person may feel no temptation on one day, itching craving over a trigger the next.
BentBut
Not
Broken
Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
I have heard of addicts that are in recovery that have NO DESIRE for their drug of choice. Does that also mean they have no temptation for the drug?

Stan, hi--I'm Dee. My answer probably won't help you, for which I am sorry, but it will help me. That said Stan, Thanks a million!!!

Do I DESIRE meth or ice?
Not in the least...it is nasty and my six months of use CURED me from wanting *that* type euphoria and energy.

Do I have temptation for meth or ice?
Again, thankfully, not in the least. My temptation lies in wanting to avoid dealing with life-events that are painful, embarrassing, that may not agree with *others* standard definitions (won't explain this further cos I care about not causing hurt to others here at KCI), and in managing disappointments that come my way.

Stan, if Amber had a college degree in chemistry or biology, she could pursue Pharmaceutical Sales and Managing. My cousin works for Johnson & Johnson Pharma. and is a type-A overachiever...she is very successful and has mentored others to do above their own goals/standards they had set. That did pop in my mind and hopefully it may help Amber.

My prayers to her and you,
Fly
f1sh3r
Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
I know a couple of pharmacists who are in recovery. Both are very active in recovery.
I know a bartender who is in recovery.
We are everywhere.

I think is a personal choice. I wouldn't want to tend bars. Drunks annoy me if I'm around them for very long.

I could handle being a pharmacist.

If someone's prone to relapse, they will relapse. It doesn't matter if they work in a pharmacy of not. It's easy to get if you want it.

Today I have no desire to use. When the life on life's terms became extremely painful, the temptation to numb it happened this year.

I used the same tools and it passed.
vctry7 Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
Do you know of anything in the pharmaceutical industry that would prevent a person who was a user of meth from becoming a pharmacist?

No, I don't know much about that area. If I were an employer I could see not wanting to hire any addict to work in my pharmacy. I know there are people who would do a great job and never cause any problems. But, if there was a problem and someone was high and mixed up pills or something I would be at fault for knowingly hiring an addict.

Would a meth addict in recovery becoming a pharmacist be like an alcoholic in recovery becoming a bartender?

I would be scared to try it. I don't think I would have a problem, but it's not worth the chance. I don't need that temptation in my face everyday.

I have heard of addicts that are in recovery that have NO DESIRE for their drug of choice. Does that also mean they have no temptation for the drug?

My husband says he has no desire for it and is never tempted. I have only met a few that even after years of sobriety say they are never tempted. I think I'll always be tempted from time to time, all that matters is what I decide to do about it.
Jamie
J1979
Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
I know recovering addicts that work as bartenders and have no problem, I also know recovering addicts that work as bartenders and have a huge problem with alcohol now instead of drugs. I feel it depends on the individual. I don't know if I could or would work in a bar, alcohol has never been a drug of choice for me but if I want to escape anything will do including alcohol. So say if I were to work in a bar and things are going great but one day I'm having a horrible day and I want to numb myself, could I not pick up a drink if alcohol is all around me? Right now I would say no I couldn't abstain from not picking up a drink if it was the only thing available at the time. I was upset a couple weeks ago and I started craving alcohol for some reason and I never drink. I feel I was craving alcohol because I was thinking of a way to escape without getting caught, alcohol would be out of my system the fastest. Alcohol is legal and I wouldn't get into a lot of trouble if I were to test positive for alcohol, basically if my OBGYN were to test me and I had a small amount of booze in my system I don't think I would get into too much trouble. CPS wouldn't be contacted or anything like that. I didn't end up drinking but that's how my addict mind works when craving. I look for a way to beat the system, to use something without the negative consequences. Do I have a desire to use drugs? Most day I do NOT have a desire to use drugs. If I do crave I am usually able to think things through and remember the good and the bad of using drugs instead of just remembering the good part. I'm able to stop and think instead of just acting on a craving like I used to. When I used to crave in the past I would just go use immediately and feel bad later. Now I stop and think and try to keep busy for awhile because I know the craving will go away. I also try to find out why I'm craving, usually if I'm lacking something like sleep, good food, exercise, something essential to my well being basically I will experience a craving. My body confuses a healthy craving for what I'm really lacking say I'm really lacking sleep, instead of realizing I'm craving sleep I think I'm craving drugs. So I try to take care of myself so that I don't feel any cravings. This time of the year is a trigger for me to use heroin. My past record of using revolves around a pattern. My pattern is to usually stay clean during the summer months and then relapse and use heavy from September through March. So when the weather starts to get bad I start to remember my using days and sometimes I long to get high again. I know that this is not the answer and with the tools I've learned and the support I now have in my life I've been able to not use. I remember even before I was a addict I would always tend to kick up my heels in the colder months and be a good girl during the warmer months, weird but true. So this is a hard time of the year for me but I will get through it. Being really active in my recovery and taking care of myself have helped me stay clean. I want to stay clean I know this. I'm not happy when I'm strung out. Drugs never make it better, things only get worse. When I'm on drugs all I want is to be off drugs so using isn't pleasant anymore. I don't get high like I used to and if I were to use I would be let down as usual. Sorry about the long post. Take care guys. I'm just kind of emotional because I'm tired of being pregnant. I'm really uncomfortable physically and I want to have my baby NOW!
Penel0pe Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
As the nurse with the keys to the narcotics cabinet, all I can say is that the desire to stay clean keeps me clean.

I had an incident once when I was doing an inventory of a patients personal meds, something I did without supervision. Count the pills, write that down, and send it all off to the pharmacy for storage - and one day, a little thought popped into my head... "I could take these and no one would ever know." Addict thinking in a recovering brain.

So I stopped, called my sponsor, told her "The weirdest thing just happened!"

She replied, "Wow, you must still be an addict, what are you going to do?"

So I finished the job and that thought was nothing more than that - a return of "Old thinking" that I had the choice to act on or not act on.

If a recovering addict wants to be a pharmacist, a doctor, a nurse, or a bartender, their recovery is still their responsibility.

I know I have seen my share of red nosed, watery eyed tipsy bartenders in my day... and there are nurses, a pharmacist, and an anesthesiologist in my area who are all going to the same meetings I go to.

Any one of us could relapse at any time. Recovery is a personal responsibility - I certainly wouldn't take the job "Meth lab assistant" or "Cannabis Horticulturist...."

But I was a nurse before I began my recovery, so I have had to learn to be responsible in my recovery.

I could have jacked those pills - but I didn't.

It depends on the individual, I think.
sdm
sanjose
Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
So far it appears that the majority answered that addicts DO have temptations to use after recovery . Those responses were to my question below that asked:

Quote:


I have heard of addicts that are in recovery that have NO DESIRE for their drug of choice. Does that also mean they have no temptation for the drug?

A “NO” would meant that the addict did have temptations
A “YES” would men that the addict DID NOT have temptations
A “RARE” would meant that the addict rarely does NOT have temptations
A “NOT CLEAR” would mean unable to determine answer
Lax                        NO
SFJ                        NOT CLEAR
Reason                        RARE
Lisa NMMA                RARE
BentButNotBroiken        YES
FLY-Jason                NO
VCTRY7                NO
Jamie1979                NO
Penelope                NO

I may have misunderstood your replies so please correct me if I am wrong.

It appears that the vast majority of addicts state that they DO have temptations after recovery

lax2 Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
Yes it can still be tempting at times 4 me, but if i were a pharmacist i would be surrounded by temptation as part of my job...

I don't have any desire for liquor at all, but that doesn't mean I want to be around alcohol in any more capacity than necessary.... If I sat here facing a full bar, night after night, who knows when temptation might present itself.

I don't keep a vial of cocaine around in case I have a guest who might want some either. But I have had the same (1) emergency cigarette in my top drawer for 3 years in case I decide to be stupid. I really should flush that F#@$ing cigarette. To me having it presents an unnecessary temptation in any case.
luve
piphany
Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
Pen, do we have to worry about our teenage kids responding to ad's for "meth lab assistant"??? Oh my, that would just give more grays than I could stand
Penel0pe Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
Luv - yes, screen those job applications!
Quote:
It appears that the vast majority of addicts state that they DO have temptations after recovery

We're addicts. Lots of people have temptations to do lots of things - have you ever looked at another woman since you got married? Did you go the next step and have an affair because you looked or lusted.. or did you do the right thing and remain faithful to your wife?

Having a thought and acting on it are two very different things. Recovering addicts are capable of remaining faithful to their recovery in spite of temptation... that's why for me, there is no "After" in recovery as you stated. Recovery is a daily process and an inside job. "After" will happen when I'm dead, hopefully!

Just because I had this 4 second idea about medications doesn't mean I WANTED to take the pills - it was a thought that popped into my head out of the blue.

I did the next right thing - I called my sponsor, and finished the job. No one would have ever known - but I would have known... and I'm not interested into returning to active drug use at all.

That doesn't mean my brain doesn't still have an addict inside it doing pushups, hoping I will make a mistake. Old habits die hard, old thinking can return without any intent to act on those thoughts.

It isn't the random thoughts that matter in the end. It's what we DO that really matters. By doing the next right thing, we can stay clean.

If an addict becomes a pharmacist and decides he's going to relapse, he's gonna do it. He's gonna relapse if he becomes a bank teller, too.

And that is one of many reasons that recovery has to be our first priority... so that we can get through those moments clean.

luve
piphany
Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
Pen, please keep writing! You have been on a super insiteful and deep writing jag lately! I noticed you were somewhat quiet for a period of time and then one day the ole' Penelope with all of her wisdom and stimulating and compassionate written thoughts was back!

I miss you but I know you need the recharging time. Thanks for you
BentBut
Not
Broken
Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
Quote:
I have heard of addicts that are in recovery that have NO DESIRE for their drug of choice. Does that also mean they have no temptation for the drug?

NO desire & NO temptation for having a clearer head and being able, painful and frustrating and ugly as it can be at times,. for being able to feel and I mean really feel. I'm only reposting for *my* benefit since two days have really sucked for me, I just a bit ago awoke from a nightmare again, and the tally you had looked bass ackwards to me--forgive me if I misinterpreted how you reworded it Stan. I could have any substance I wanted to ease those sucky days easy, free, and fast...too freaking fast for my liking. Feeling sure inside of me when I reposted NO desire & NO temptation is, for me, pretty good news...but don't give me kudos please. I'm hanging on to God tight!

I know this was not asked by you Stan...but the peer pressure factor after age 40 question...yes, at college it could have been a factor for me even with that first horrid experience. For me, that's my low state of self-esteem and I think getting clean added to it.

I am going to search for answers and find good tools to have a healthy self-esteem for the rest of my life. Doesn't mean I won't have bad and sucky days ahead, but it does mean maybe I can be stronger and make smarter choices in the future
Tender
hearts
KS
Re: Could a meth addict become a pharmacist?
Interesting questions, Stan. I can't answer the first one for you as I have no experience with legalities and being a pharmacist.

I can tell you I attended an NA meeting when I first got out of rehab called the 'Hardcore Group', mostly needle users. I do clearly recall one of the recovering members there was indeed a pharmacist, though I don't remember much more (that was almost 20 years ago).

I still have fleeting thoughts of using, usually when I am excessively tired, wishing I had that extra 'boost', but it's never more than a few seconds  That's why I try real hard to avoid HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired). Those are all potentially dangerous for me.

See also:

Life After Meth

How do you build a new life without Meth?


Back to Crystal Meth & Methamphetamine Questions, Answers & Advice


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