Watertown Optometrist Shares Story Of Prescription Drug Addiction

Time and again we hear about the tight grip drugs can have on a person. 

A woman working as an optometrist in Watertown found that out when prescriptions turned her life upside down. 

Melanie Weiss describes herself as driven; she always knew she wanted to be an optometrist. 

She ended up opening her own clinic in Watertown. 

But what she didn't see in her future: prescription drug addiction. 

Melanie Weiss' addiction to painkillers dates back to around 2010 following several surgeries.

A habit she once thought she could overcome, spiraled out of control. 

"First, it started me taking prescription pain medication from my family members, friends. Then I started going into friends' homes and taking their prescription pain medications," Weiss said. 

In 2016 she was charged with burglary for taking medication from someone's home. 

When Watertown Police arrested her she felt thankful. 

"I actually sat in the back of the cop car and had this overwhelming sense of, 'This is finally done,'" Wiess said. 

Volk: When your addiction peaked how many pills were you taking a day?
Weiss: At its worst, I was probably taking 40 pills a day. 
Volk: Of strong pain medications.
Weiss: Yes. 

Weiss says she's clean now. 

She uses that dark time in her life to help others see the light. 

On Friday, she shared her story with students at a state Students Against Destructive Decisions Conference. 

She wants kids and everyone else to know that when challenges arise, you can fight back. 

"Life is not so bad that you can't pull yourself back up," Weiss said. 

In fact, that's exactly what she's doing. 

Weiss pleaded guilty to burglary and two counts of entering or remaining in a building. 

She also had to spend time in jail. 

She says her optometry license is suspended until January 2019. 

Right now other doctors fill in for her at her clinic. 

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