A man looking down at the phone in his hands. Medication assisted treatment

MAT Works! Workit Member James Shares His Story

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We’re talking with Workit members in recovery from opioid addiction about how medically assisted treatment worked for them.

At Workit Health, we believe in all pathways to recovery, and we know medication helps people recover. We’re sharing the stories of Workit Health program members and recovery advocates who have found long-term recovery from opioid addiction with medication. Today, we’re talking with James.

James, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I work full time at a plumbing supply house. I started using opiates in my late 20s into my mid 30s. I tried getting clean a few times with methadone. It never took. I finally found Suboxone, and it has been working for me. I like being able to function without having to constantly think about my next fix.

“I finally found Suboxone and it has been working for me. I like being able to function without having to think about my next fix constantly.”

Can you describe your experience with opioid addiction?

At first I was taking Vicodin on the weekends in my late 20s. Soon I was mixing Vicodin with Percocet, and doing it every day. I started snorting oxycodone. I was able to get 80mg oxy. Over time I lost a lot of money using these pills, and I threw away most of my youth. I even got involved in heroin for a while.

What was opiate withdrawal like for you?

Terrible. Diarrhea, headache, flu. I felt sick. I just wanted to stay in bed, but even then I couldn’t lie still.

What was the most frustrating thing about trying to find addiction treatment?

Having to go to a place that was surrounded by dealers. I also hated not being able to work with the counselors in a way that fit for me/my job.

Were you made aware of medically assisted treatment (MAT) recovery meds like methadone, Suboxone and Vivitrol? Had you tried them in the past?

Methadone was what I mostly knew about. It did not work very well for me.

What do you think really differentiates Workit Health from other addiction treatment options out there?

Being able to message my counselors anytime I need to. Really being able to reach out anytime, with any concerns. Also being able to go with my work schedule has really been a lifesaver. (Possibly literally.)

“Being able to go with my work schedule has really been a lifesaver. (Possibly literally.)”

How much has your life changed since finding recovery from opioid addiction?

I succeed at my job a lot better. I’m not nodding off at work like I did when I was using. And I don’t need to leave work in the middle of a shift to go chase a fix.

Do you have any words of hope for people still struggling with opioid addiction?

It will get better. You will be able to kick this. It takes time and dedication. Talk to people who have gone through what you have. They understand. I understand.

What would you tell people considering a MAT program (medication for opioid addiction) or an online program like Workit Health?

It has worked wonders for me.

As Workit Health’s Head of Marketing, Kali Lux leans in to the culture gap between addiction, recovery, and medicine. She’s interested in finding solutions that work for substance users better than drinking or drugging does, and believes Workit is one of them. She’s written extensively on her own experience through addiction into long-term recovery. You can connect with her on Twitter @kalireadsbooks.

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