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Mum gets addicted to heroin after becoming hooked on codeine prescribed by GP; Cheryl Moore, 50, says she tried to harm herself and suffered hallucinations as her life spiralled out of control.

Byline: Vivienne Aitken

A mum-of-two says her life fell apart after she became addicted to codeine prescribed by her GP and then got hooked onheroin.

Cheryl Moore told a doctor she may be addicted to codeine after taking the opioid painkiller for three years.

But she claims she was taken off the drug immediately instead of being weaned off of it, leading to a complete breakdown in which she tried to harm herself and suffered hallucinations.

The 50-year-old, from the Isle of Bute in Scotland, began to buy codeine online, was eventually put on methadone and later got hooked on heroin "to try to keep the depression away".

Ms Moore, who lost her career as an art tutor and has been clean for almost a year after going to rehab, is speaking out to highlight the role she claims doctors play in creating generations of addicts, theDaily Recordreports.

Concern that children are being pacified with methadone by drug addict parents

She claims she isn't sure why she was initially prescribed codeine while living in Ayrshire.

The painkiller is an opiate from the same family as heroin and morphine and is usually given to people after an operation or injury.

Ms Moore said: "I never had any chronic pain but I do remember something about being told to take two tablets at bedtime to help me sleep.

"I was on them for about three years. After two, I think, I was addicted.

"No one ever examined me or asked why I was taking the pills."

Ms Moore said she struggled with depression for 30 years, including post-natal depression after giving birth to her children, and she felt that the codeine was making her feel better.

She then moved into Bute, where she claims she was in a violent relationship.

She said: "I started taking more codeine and they made everything feel better. I realised I had a problem and went to the doctor and said, 'I think I am an addict'. He just stopped my prescription.

"I tried to harm myself and was hallucinating."

After being released from a mental welfare hospital, Ms Moore began to buy codeine online to feed her addiction.

She said: "I would take up to 10 at a time. I didn't care that one of these doses could have killed me."

She became so dependant on the opioid around 2011 that doctors put her on methadone, a substitute drug meant to allow users to get on with treatment without having to worry about withdrawing or buying street drugs.

Ms Moore claimed: "The attitude seems to be if you are on methadone, it is for life. No one with any hope ends up like this.

"I was determined to get off it. I thought that after nine days, it would be out my system but for 35 days I didn't sleep or eat.

"I managed a bite of banana every couple of days and went down to six-and-a-half stones. It was torture.

"No medical people came near. They certainly didn't encourage you to get off it. But I needed to get my life back."

Despite kicking methadone, she continued to "chase codeine" every day, and turned to heroin, she said.

She was hooked on that drug for three years.

Ms Moore said: "I was so weak and broken. It was a weekend thing at first, then I needed it more.

"It just escalated from there to try to keep the depression away but it took everything away from me. I was in complete isolation.

Dog's heartbreaking final moments after 'accidentally' eating heroin

"I am so angry my life -- and my children's -- has been wasted."

Ms Moore said she is no longer with her violent partner and has been clean for 10 months after going to rehab last year.

She said: "People have blind faith in doctors but they shouldn't be allowed to prescribe with impunity. They are keeping addicts in addiction.

"It is all completely unnecessary if they would just take some time with a human being instead of pushing drugs on them. It has completely ruined my life."

A spokesman for NHS Highland said it can't comment on individual cases.

CAPTION(S):

Credit: Daily Record

Cheryl Moore, 50, says she has been clean for 10 months after going to rehab

Credit: Daily Record

Ms Moore, from the Isle of Bute, was hooked on heroin for three years

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Codeine is an opioid painkiller from the same family as heroin and morphine

Credit: Daily Record

Credit: PA

Methadone is designed to help drug addicts get on with treatment

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Heroin is a highly addictive opiate
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Title Annotation:News,UK News
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 12, 2019
Words:774
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