Joshua McGahee joined the Dillard Police Department to serve and protect the public from criminals. And when he graduated from the academy in 2008, he never dreamed his career as an officer would be lost to a severe addiction to prescription drugs.
"It was just so painful," McGahee said. "I thought the pneumonia hurt but, the withdrawal hurt worse."
After getting pneumonia in May of last year, McGahee then developed into Pleurisy.
"I could go to the doctor anytime and he would give them to me," McGahee said. "I was just in tremors, and hurt; and it was all I could do to control myself. I didn't want to do what I did. I am ashamed I did what I did. However, the power of that drug is so strong it makes you do stuff you'd think you'd never be able to do. You have to be there to realize it. It is very difficult to overcome."
On April 28 just before midnight, McGahee said he broke into the pharmacy, triggered the alarm, and then acted as though he was responding to the alarm call. When he went inside to do a report, that's when he stole a bottle of Oxycodone.
McGahee said he was taking 25 to 30 pills a day.
"If I kept going they would have killed me," McGahee said. "My body was telling me I needed them and if I had them, I'd take them."
McGahee was fired from the Dillard Police Department following his arrest and charges.
Right now he is waiting for another court appearance on the charges of violating his oath of office, theft by taking and burglary.
"I am sorry I let the chief down, and the other officer," McGahee said. "I thought I could do it on my own several times, but I needed professional help to get it done. I was just too embarrassed to ask. I hated to hurt them like that, and I am sorry I didn't want to let them down."
McGahee said he plans to tell his story to anyone who will listen in the hopes that if they are struggling with addiction they will make the right choices to get help.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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