About a year ago someone at work had a minor injury. We always have Disprins on hand but because this guy was in pain we got in stronger pain killers so that he could take medication and continue work without taking extra sick leave.

My office mate WA, who has a bit of a problem with medication, could not keep her hands off these white little beauties and one morning when I came to work I was told she was admitted to hospital during the early morning hours and was in a serious condition. Everyone at work suspected that she had overdosed.

WA rummages through the medicines and collects about five different tablets in the sticky palm of her hand and then swallows them all in one gulp.

A few weeks ago WA tells me that her son takes a fist full of vitamin tablets and she doesn’t mind because they are good for him. (He obviously sees this from his mom.) I was shocked and I informed her that vitamins should be taken as advised otherwise they could also be dangerous but she just laughed me off.

One month ago, we were all working in the office and I hear thud on WA’s desk, I look over and WA’s face is flat on the desk and she is snoring out loud. The temp helping me was horrified and urged me to do something because WA was obviously not well.

I didn’t panic – it was not the first time I had seen WA react this way. Eventually the boss came into the office and ordered WA to go and sleep it off at home. WA sat up and said she was not sleeping and then drove home. I was shocked to think that anyone would consider allowing someone, who could not keep their eyes open, to drive.

Today WA demanded pain killers again. There weren’t any – simply because she had already taken them all. Annoyed WA ordered the temp to run to the corner shop to buy some tablets for her. WA walked out the office and when she returned 2 minutes later she grabbed the money from the temp and said “never mind, I’ll go myself”. The temp said she was busy with something and would have gone as soon as she had finished. I knew that, the problem is that WA needed it really urgently because she is addicted for sure!