Drug dependence occurs when using a particular, or several drugs, become a ritual or habit in someone’s life because the person feels they need the drug. They can develop a physical or a psychological dependence for the drug. Someone with a physical dependence can experience withdrawals, and feel pain from wanting the drug so badly. With a psychological dependence, a person may just use the drug to get rid of unwanted feelings.
I used to think of drug dependence as someone being addicted and needing drugs. But I mostly thought of people being dependent on the harder drugs, such as meth and cocaine. I never really thought a person could become so dependent on prescription type drugs.
In the past couple of years I have learned I was incredibly wrong. As I’ve been working I’ve worked with many people who could not come into work and function unless they were taking one pill or another. One girl in particular stood out. She was the girl everyone knew was on drugs, all of the time. If for some reason, however, she could not get any drugs, she couldn’t do her job. She would come into work and “feel sick.” Almost every shift she worked she either wanted to go home early, making everyone else have to stay longer then they had planned, or she would call every other employee and try to get someone to come in for her. Every time I worked with her, she would always say, “ok, I need to make X amount of money today to put in my bank account to cover the bills.” At the end of her shift it was always, “I made 20 dollars more than what I need! I have beer and drug money!” This is when I absolutely started understanding just how bad drug dependence could get. People risk their jobs, lives, and the ability to support themselves financially just to get that one hit.
One day in particular, I had come in for my normal morning shift, which I always worked with this girl, and walked in to see a complete mess. She could not hold a tray,...