The Opioid Chapters: Chapter 5 - Sean
While struggling with a decade-long opiate addiction, Sean put together the pieces he needed for recovery: advocating for others, methadone treatment and finding an apartment where he could have a cup of tea, undisturbed.
I grew up on a Canadian Armed Forces base. I left home at the age of 13 to escape an abusive situation. I was put into emergency care and I was sexually abused there. It really took away a lot of my trust in the system. I put myself through high school. After that, I hitchhiked from Nova Scotia to San Francisco, and got into university. It was going really well. I had a security job at a bar in town, I was a disc jockey and I fell in love. I finished two years of school and my girlfriend got pregnant. Unfortunately, she drowned seven months into the pregnancy. Out of that sprung my addiction. I turned first to alcohol, then opiates. Long story short, it turned into a pretty bad addiction. I pretty well lost everything that I worked for all those years, and ended up homeless and addicted to opiates.
The Opioid Chapters is a collaborative project by the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN) and Healthy Debate: Faces of Health Care. This project was created to release a special edition series of interviews and multimedia content with individuals across Ontario who have lived experience with opioids, as well as other perspectives from physicians, community workers and family members.