It had been years since Victor first developed his dependency on prescription pills. Eventually, he made the switch to heroin and moved into a house where his roommates were also drug users. Within a few years of this environment, he found himself in the ER due to a troubling cyst in his arm from his ongoing drug addiction.
乐动体育官方网站While in the emergency room, his care team referred him to trial Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). This program helps adults with addiction to opioids (heroin or prescription painkillers) by prescribing a daily medication, Suboxone, that helps individuals recover from addiction. MAT treatment also requires individuals to participate in counseling with a licensed behavioral health therapist.
Victor wasn’t sure if he was ready to commit to recovery, but a few weeks later, he hit rock bottom. He admitted himself to UC Health and began his first Suboxone treatment. Through a partnership with UC Health, he was admitted to STRIDE the following Monday, for his first appointment with his STRIDE behavioral health therapist, Kelly, and medical provider, Heather, for an integrated treatment approach.
乐动体育官方网站“I felt so welcomed,” Victor explained. “Heroin addicts have such a bad stigma, and I felt talked to like a human being.”
乐动体育官方网站With the support of his STRIDE team, his family, and his own personal strength, Victor began his journey of recovery. Victor moved back in with his family, determined not to interact with his former community. He was overwhelmed and admitted how tough it was getting started. Luckily, his father and sister were committed to seeing him succeed and helped hold him accountable and provide a level of daily support that was greatly beneficial and needed.
“Without them, I would not be here today,” Victor shared.
乐动体育官方网站At first, he met every week at STRIDE with Kelly and Heather. They helped him prioritize his next steps and see a new perspective, as he began to learn new things about himself and focus on his recovery. Slowly but surely, Victor began making progress. He secured a job and got his finances back under control. He has continuously participated in community recovery through Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and is intentional with his social boundaries. Eventually, however, he knew he would one day brush shoulders with an old friend from that part of his life.
“I wondered what would happen if I ran into someone who I used to use with. Would I be able to say ‘no’?” he said. “But, May 18th was the first time I ever said ‘no’ to drugs when offered. I had been building trust with myself, continuing to work on that, and I finally proved it!”
乐动体育官方网站“Although Victor’s support of his family and the services offered by STRIDE helped keep him on the right track, it was his choice—he was ready,” added Kelly Shaffer, LPC, LAC, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program Manager. “It may have been a team effort, but Victor was always our leader. He made the choice to strengthen his healthy relationships and let the risky ones go.”
Victor shared he has dreams to go back to school or to help others into recovery one day.
“The medication from MAT makes my mind clear,” Victor said. “It sounds cheesy, but this treatment has helped me live my normal life again… I can’t give enough credit to this program.”