Pain of Addiction: Highlight of a Prescription Pill Addict

on Tuesday, 10 April 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery, Prescription Drugs

Three young people have died of prescription drug overdoses in the last 5 months, and Nick Selig was friends with each of them.  According to The Chronicle Herald, the 21-year-old moved to Annapolis Valley this week, partly due to the prescription pill addiction that gripped Bridgewater.

Nick Selig is also a prescription pill addict, although he is now in recovery.  He has been clean for four years, and he is a graphic design student at Nova Scotia Community College.  He said, “A lot of kids think death only happens to older people, but here I’ve lost three close friends and you realize death happens to everybody.”

Nick was closest with Josh Ballard, the first of the three to die.  They had been friends for many years, and Nick claims to know Josh’s family well.  Josh Ballard died from a methadone overdose, and the young man was also known to take heavy doses of his prescription antidepressants.

The second death from prescription pill overdose was 19-year-old Brandon Wentzell, who died after drinking Vodka and OJ and then swallowing four Dilaudid pills.  His mother is dedicated to educating people about the prescription pill problem in Bridgewater.  The most recent death was 18-year-old Robyn Brown, who was found unresponsive after taking sleeping pills.  She died inthe hospital two days later.

Nick Selig knows how tough it is to battle a drug addiction, and prescription pills were always easy for him to find.  By the time he was 15, he was addicted to painkillers like Dilaudid and morphine.  He went into a detox program at Fisherman’s Memorial Hospital twice, “but it was just to get dried out, not sober.”  Nick said, “People go there to get the chemicals out of their system, but not long enough to stop from doing it again.”  By the time he was 16, he decided he had enough, and he went to Portage Residential Centre, where he spent his 17th birthday.

Nick compared this program to a boot camp, where they tear the addict down and rebuild him into a person who is happy with himself chemical-free.  The program has helped him to remain clean, despite the ease in getting prescription drugs in Nick’s hometown.  In addition, pills are cheap in Bridgewater. The problem continues, and Josh’s family pushes towards awareness.

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