Ask For Help
Ask for help if you need help. Simon is a 35 year old man with two young children. His children don’t know that anything is wrong with their dad. Simon goes to work every day and comes home to see his family every evening. Simon’s wife suspects that something might be wrong. He has been moody and secretive. Recently, he has been coming home late. The car has been having a lot of problems. It seems like Simon is always having some kind of break down on the road and having to get something fixed. Simon has been taking off more and more sick days off from work.
Simon has a secret
He is not having an affair. Unless you want to call drug addiction an affair. Just to feel normal and not get sick, Simon has to meet a man every single day and buy pills. The man is a friend of a friend. Somehow, he always seems to have a supply of little blue pills for sale. Sometimes, they meet on the side of the road. Other times, it is at a gas station. The pills are expensive. $20-$30 each. The problem started a few years ago.
Simon was in pain
He had hurt his back. The primary care doctor didn’t seem to care and prescribed some anti-inflammatory pills that didn’t help. The chiropractor tried doing an adjustment and just made the pain worse. The heat therapy was nice while it lasted, but the pain came back every night. A friend at work gave Simon some of his pills from his pain doctor. These pills worked. Simon’s pain went away. He felt great. Everything was fine with the world for a little while. When the pain came back, he just took another pill.
Soon, the pills were gone
Simon offered to buy more pills from his co-worker friend. The friend said he could not give him any more pills. Soon after, he was introduced to another man who sold the pills. All Simon had to do was call a cell phone number and have his money ready. There were times when Simon didn’t have money or the man was out of pills. Those were the days that Simon got sick. He got very sick. It felt like the flu but ten times worse. He was stuck in bed. Simon hid his cell phone under the sheet, switched to silent so his wife wouldn’t hear it. He texted the man with the pills over and over.
Simon would think about quitting, but the sickness seemed like it would never stop.
It just got worse and worse. When Simon was able to buy more pills, the man asked how he was taking them. The man told Simon that he could crush the pills and snort them in his nose. They might work better that way. He also told Simon that some people cooked their pills and injected them into a vein. Simon did not want to hear about using needles to get high, but he missed the high he used to get from the pills.
Simon wanted to stop
He wanted to ask for help. In his head, he was screaming out for help, but he could not get himself to say anything. He didn’t want to ruin his life. He might lose his family. Simon didn’t want to lose his job. He imagined being kicked out of the house and his family having no money. What would happen to the kids? Simon had to hold everything together. He didn’t know where to turn or who to ask for help. One day, Simon found a helpline and called it secretly while driving. Someone answered the helpline. He was told that he must check in to an inpatient program to be detoxed. They wanted his insurance information to see if he was covered. Was there any other way? Who could Simon ask for help?
The dealer didn’t answer
One day, the man with the pills stopped answering his phone. Simon was going to call in sick, but he couldn’t go home and face his wife again with another sick day. He thought about checking into a hotel. Simon forced himself to go to work without his pills. While sitting at his desk, suffering, the man who first gave Simon the pills walked by. Simon got up and stopped him. He shamefully asked his co-worker if he had anymore pills. He knew the answer would be no.
But Simon’s co-worker gave him a good tip
It turned out that the co-worker had gone through a similar ordeal. He was now feeling great and back to his usual daily routine. He told Simon about a special medication that is just for helping people who get addicted to opioid pills like the little blue pills Simon was hooked on. Simon was wrote down the name of the medication and did some research online. He soon found out that there were various online resources to find doctors who were qualified to prescribe this medication.
Simon found the name of a doctor
Simon wanted to ask for help. He called the number, expecting to speak to a secretary in a busy office or an answering service. Surprisingly, the doctor answered the phone. Simon nervously asked the doctor if he could help. He asked about the special medication, named Suboxone. Right away, the doctor said, “yes, I can help you with that.” Simon was given an appointment.
What came next was the end of years of suffering
Simon wished that he had found out about this kind of treatment sooner. He had confided in his primary care doctor about his addiction problem. That doctor gave him a dirty look and told him that he had “better quit drugs right away.” This new doctor understood what Simon was going through. He gave him detailed instructions on how to quickly get off of the opioid pills and transition to Suboxone. The new doctor told Simon about group meetings that are free. Simon could meet new friends who were also clean from drugs. The doctor also referred Simon to a private therapist to get to the root of the addiction problem and to work on various issues.
Simon was able to continue with his work
He was able to stay with his wife and children. Every morning, he gratefully woke up and helped get his kids ready for school. He played with them on the weekends. The car stopped breaking down all the time. Simon was able to mow the lawn and take care of the house. Things went back to normal for the first time in years. Simon was so happy about how things worked out, he finally decided to have a talk with his family and tell them what had happened. His wife told him that she already suspected what was happening. She supported him and even started going to his doctor appointments. Simon made many new friends in his recovery meetings and was even able to help newcomers by talking to them and sharing his success story.
If you need help, all you have to do is ask for help
The above story is fictional. Simon is a fictional person who does not represent any particular individual. Your story is probably different, but you may relate to the suffering that Simon experienced. If you are currently dealing with a problem with opioid dependence or addiction and you live in Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Pompano Beach, Broward County or South Florida, please call Mark Leeds, D.O. at 954-776-6226. Dr. Leeds is an Osteopathic Physician focused on helping patients with opioid dependence using Medication Assisted Treatment with medications such as buprenorphine, Suboxone, Subutex and Zubsolv in addition to group and individual therapy.