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My Son Todd’s Last Days

Donna White with her son, Todd

By: Donna White

My son Todd became addicted to OxyContin a few years ago after a break up, when he was severely depressed. After the formula was changed to make OxyContin tamper proof he became addicted to fentanyl.

Fentanyl is very expensive and he started stealing to support his habit. On December 8, 2013 he left the house to go to his methadone appointment but unfortunately my husband had left his wallet in the car.  This was an invitation for Todd to steal from our bank account and he then went into hiding.

As a result we had to call the police. On January 10th he called me and asked if I would go with him to the police station so that he could turn himself in.  At this point he had started back on methadone through the OATC clinic in Peterborough.

He was held in the Lindsay jail from the 11th until the 20th and received his methadone daily until the evening of the 19th. His prescription had been transferred from the clinic to the jail.  On Monday January 20th he went to court in Peterborough for a retail theft charge and was released, however he was detained because of the charge we made against him.

  • Monday night he was held at the Cobourg OPP station and was not given methadone.
  • Tuesday he went to court in Cobourg and then they drove him back to the Lindsay jail that night and he had to ask for his methadone as he had missed the nurses’ usual prescription route, but he did get his dosage that night.
  • Wednesday he went back to court in Cobourg and was released on bail. I drove him to Lindsay to pick up his things and then straight to the OATC methadone clinic in Peterborough. He was in the clinic for quite a while and when he came out he was very frustrated because the person in the office told him he would have to come back the next day to see the doctor.  Todd was so frustrated because to someone addicted they need their med’s. I would have went in and argued myself with them but I trusted that he would go back in the next day and get his medication with no issue.
  • Thursday I went to work as I had missed a lot of work that week going to court and my daughter took him to the clinic. She said that he was in there for such a long time that she went in to check on him. Apparently he was arguing with them as they said he hadn’t had his medication for 3 days so he had to start over again. This was just wrong! He begged them to call the jail again but they wouldn’t.   They told him he would have to come back on Monday to see the doctor. What I don’t understand was on Wednesday they told him to come back on Thursday so he could see the doctor, but then they told him to come back Monday. He was devastated and my husband said he was very upset when they came home. I have been told that being addicted to an opioid and needing it is like needing air to breathe. When I got home from work he begged me to take him to Peterborough so that he could buy some methadone off of the street.
  • Friday morning, Jan 24, 2014, two days after being released from jail I found him passed away on the floor where he had been watching TV.   What I didn’t know was when he bought the methadone off of the street they had also given him fentanyl. The following Monday morning my daughter and I went to the clinic to take Todd’s appointment. I wanted to tell the doctor to have some compassion for his patients and not make them jump through hoops to get their prescription. When we asked to see the doctor the young woman said he was busy and I said no it was Todd’s appointment time. She insisted that he couldn’t see us but lead us into an office and I gave her the message above. She just kept on saying Dr. X is not Todd’s doctor and that she would pass that on to his doctor, and I said no tell Dr. X as he was the doctor who was sending him away. After we had been in there a few minutes, a door that was in the office we were in and had been open a few inches, shut. I’m sure it must have been him but he was a coward and wouldn’t talk to me. It sounded as if she had been coached on what to say to us because they already knew Todd had died before we got there and she just continued to say Dr. X is not Todd’s doctor, so I got up and we left.