Cheap High, Expensive Lesson

A recovering addict suffers from extreme nausea and stomach cramps. But the most obvious explanation may not be the right one.

Estela, 26, lay curled up on a stretcher, her forehead beaded with sweat. Nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps had laid her low for two days, she said. She was on methadone, and if she’d missed a dose, withdrawal could be causing the vomiting and stomach cramps. But heaving for two days straight would be unusual. “So you did take this morning’s dose?” I asked. “Seventy-five milligrams at eight this morning,” my patient replied. “I missed yesterday.&rdq...

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