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Journey of a couple from addiction to recovery

Ron Heirs was born in Memphis in 1955. He had a cleft palate by birth, which was corrected through a surgery; however, he was left with a nasal defect for which he was bullied in school. As he started growing up, he got notorious for inviting problems and eventually was expelled from the school. Following his expulsion, he started working at construction sites to earn a living. One fine day, he broke his heel at work.

That was a turning point in his life, as the accident introduced him to the world of prescribed opioids like oxycodone. To keep getting the drug, he would regularly visit the hospital and moan in pain. When his prescriptions ran dry, he graduated to heroin, which was cheaper and easily available. During one of his visits to his hometown, he met his present wife Carla, who was also into the deep potholes of opioid addiction. Together, they started abusing drugs excessively and their lives were so incapacitated that they had to even forgo the custody of their daughter.

Rewarding experience

On the fateful day of Oct.3, 2016, Ron and Carla took their heroin shots and passed out near a bus stand. Ron had even consumed nearly four dozen pills of Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication. While Ron was hunched backward with his head touching the ground, Carla was found lying facedown on the sidewalk with her legs buckled under her. The passersby went about their daily businesses but one of them started streaming the video live on Facebook. They were both revived through naloxone, a drug that emergency medical technicians and paramedics have started carrying to reverse the effect of drug overdose.

While Ron found his way to home, Carla was arrested because of the pending fine related to theft involving her. Millions of the viewers saw the video and one of them was Ron’s daughter from his previous wife. She got her father admitted to a rehab.

In their documentary with Time and Mic, the couple admitted that they had over four decades of addiction behind them. After being released from the jail, Carla also received help and started her treatment at a rehab, separately from Ron. While both claimed to have worked their way up to recovery, they vouch for the fact that opioid addiction is a debilitating disorder. It disrupts a person’s life to the extent that one loses everything that was once cherished and beautiful — relationships, kids, home, finances, and everything else. Ron received a call from his daughter who begged him to stay for as long as he could manage as complete recovery takes time. While Ron stuck to the promise, not many people can do the same. After receiving treatment for a month or so, patients develop complacency and believe that they can manage the addiction on their own, which might lead to relapse. Thus, it is important to stay true to the addiction treatment and even when one is out, one must never ignore the importance of the aftercare support, which is instrumental in maintaining sobriety.

Road to recovery

Sovereign Health’s Recovery Management Program supports its patients in commencing normal lives by closely monitoring their progress throughout the program and preventing relapse. Our continuing care program comprises a plethora of activities like chapter meetings, continuing education, community activities, continuing care process groups, and courses on life skills. For more information about our recovery management programs and how you can benefit from it, call our 24/7 helpline 866-501-9425 or chat online with one of our representatives.

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