My name is Andrew Flood. I have anxiety to the point where it borders on schizophrenia. Agoraphobia x 10.

In 1997, when I was around 20 or 21, I accidentally (after a night of bar hopping & heavy drinking & drugging (opiates)) set a garage on fire doing moderate damage. With no prior criminal record, I was sentenced to 10 years, all but five suspended. I was not offered any alternative treatment.

So, I spent the first half of my 20s in prison (& I don’t even want to go into my education there.) I was released in 2002, went to drug & alcohol counseling, got a good job, &c. When I began to have opiate cravings, I went on suboxone (through my doctor & notifying my PO), until my PO gave me my 1st violation for using suboxone. Then I went on methadone. I’d been prescribed benzodiazapines for years for my intense anxiety – until my PO contacted my doctor & had him abruptly take me off of them. I became severely ill (as people predictably do from benzo withdrawal), even experiencing seizures. When a friend offered me a xanax, I accepted. My PO (who’d been monitoring me carefully during my detox) tested me, & violated me for a dirty urine test.

This was only my second violation in seven years, following my release from prison. For this, my probation was revoked, & I am now serving the remaining five years of my original ten.

I have lost all. For two violations.

– Andrew Flood

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