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KGUN9 Presents Arizona's Opioid Emergency: The journey to stay clean

Posted at 5:56 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 19:56:37-05

Chris is 33-years-old and from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What brought him nearly 2,000 miles to Tucson was recovery from opioids. 

"Friends were doing it growing up I never got how you got high sniffing a pill and you guys were stupid, you are going to get a brain aneurysm but then tried it," he said.

Since then he was hooked and later turned to heroin. He constantly traveled for his job and got to a point where he was comfortable traveling with drugs. 

"I remember the first time like I was running out and became dope sick and started getting withdraws and it was just terrible," he said. 

Chris says the fear of withdraws kept him using for years. 

"I remember I was using and my brother used to use and we got a little cocktail going and I knew I was going to die and that was a moment of clarity where you know I decided to get help," he explained. 

He says he wanted to live and put himself in treatment. 

Recovery in Motion in Tucson prescribed him for a 12-day tapered program to get off the drugs-- facing his biggest fear.

"I remember being so scared about when that would be over like it was built up in my mind so much you know again how am I going to feel you know going forward," he said.

He got through it and was able to build a strong supportive community. 

"The strongest thing is building a strong network of people that are in recovery because you don't have to do it alone," he said.

Chris has been sober for months and says he feels great.

"As long as I keep my recovery first I have a chance today," he said.

Chris says one thing will keep him from never using again.

"I don't forget the pain for me," he said. "I don't want to forget the pain where it came from so that is a good motivator and as long as I stay clean the possibilities are endless."

For more information on Recovery in Motion's treatment programs, click here.