John’s story is very different to most stories you’d associate with addiction. John was 56 when he accessed support from Which Rehab.
“Up until I was involved in a car accident at the age of 54 my life was pretty normal. I had a good upbringing, a successful career, a happy marriage, and 2 almost adult children.”
Following on from a road traffic accident John damaged his back. He was prescribed the prescription pain killer Tramadol, and this is where his problems began.
“It’s difficult to know where the pain ended, and the addiction began. Initially I was in a lot of pain, and the medication helped, but somewhere along the way I become dependent. If I didn’t have the medication, I would start to experience withdrawals, so I started to take more. At first, I made up excuses with my GP, that I’d misplaced my medication, but he soon became suspicious and changed my medication.”
John began buying medication online from illegal sites, whilst trying to keep his business together.
“My life just began falling apart. I couldn’t concentrate without the Tramadol, my business started to suffer, I lost weight and looked awful. I got up one day and looked in the mirror and didn’t recognise myself. This was when I told my wife and best friend exactly what was happening.”
Johns wife called their local GP who recommended that they find him a rehab facility.
“My wife did all the hard work really. She spoke to a couple of rehab facilities who seemed very draconian, she knew this approach wouldn’t work for me. Luckily, she eventually came across Which Rehab, and when she spoke to them, they were kind, pleasant, but most importantly understanding.”
Which Rehab arranged an admission into a rehab facility that catered well for John’s need and preferred approach. On admission he was assessed by a doctor and prescribed a gentle detox regime.
“What helped me the most at the rehab was the therapy. I had so much shame about where I had ended up, and the therapy really helped with this. I was also allowed to use my phone and laptop to keep my business running, which was obviously really important.”
John spent 6 weeks at the clinic, and continues to access aftercare, as well as ongoing counselling.
“With hindsight now, I can see that my first addiction was being a workaholic. As well as helping with the pain, the medication helped with the stress. I can see now I was probably always susceptible to addiction.”
John has now been drug-free for 18 months and has worked hard at re-building his life.
“I guess the scary part is this can happen to anyone, at any time. I would have been the last person anyone would have thought would end up in a rehab clinic. I’m so grateful that we got in touch with Which Rehab, as they were able to understand my needs and find the right clinic for me. Had I gone to one of the first clinics my wife had contacted I probably wouldn’t have stayed.”