The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

The struggle of an addict: Benjamin Cox shares his story

By in News

The Xaverian Weekly (St. Francis Xavier University)

Cox’s book, My Name is Ben and I’m a Nurse/Addict, began to take shape through his journals while under house arrest.
ANTIGONISH (CUP) — Benjamin Cox had a successful life. Working as a nurse in Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, Cox had a steady job, and was well respected by his colleagues, his patients and numerous members of the tightly knit community.

However, before long, the St. Francis Xavier graduate would become the centre of a scandal that would shake his community to its core. He had become addicted to painkillers, stealing leftover doses from the patients that trusted him.

“I remember the first time I did it,” said Cox, speaking with The Xaverian and CFXU. “There were a few reasons [why I started]. The first was curiosity. Secondly, I was unhappy with my personal life and with my marriage.”

“I was the only nurse on during the night time,” he remembered. “It was just another ordinary night.”

Cox recalled how he would normally dispose of the leftover dosages in a jar. However, this night he decided to inject himself with it. He immediately liked the feeling. The addiction had begun.

For the next two years, Cox continued to feed his habit mostly through drugs from his job, until the day when his web of lies all came unraveled.

“It really took the wind out of my sails,” Cox said about the day when he was called into his administrator’s office.

A shortage of drug dosages had been noticed that day. Following an investigation, it was discovered that Cox was always the nurse on duty when there were discrepancies in drug dosages. Cox confessed to the crimes and was immediately sent to rehab to await his trial and sentencing.

He credits his time in rehab as a major factor in his recovery. It allowed him to realize that he was human and that he was going to make mistakes. Cox said that the important thing was to be able to forgive himself and move on. He actively participated in group therapy sessions and shared his story with all who were willing to listen.

Cox ended up facing a deeply emotional trial in Inuvik, with prosecutors fighting hard for jail time. In the end, Cox was sentenced to a year of house arrest. During this time, Cox’s book, My Name is Ben and I’m a Nurse/Addict, began to take shape through his journals.

His book, which was self-published, offers brutally honest insight into his struggles and emotions through his life. It is a deeply personal account of all his struggles. Cox believes that his story can help many students, not just those dealing with drug addiction, but those struggling with any difficult situation and choices in their life.

Cox’s recovery is ongoing. Although he has had relapses along the way, he is happy and he believes he is on the right track to making a full recovery.

Photo: Supplied

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