If you know Matt, you know that he is my brother, all grown up, but forever my baby brother. Matt is a husband and a father of three amazing kids. His first child; his daughter was born when Matt was only twenty and he then became a single dad. He was determined to raise his daughter and give her the world. A few years later, Matt met the love of his life; his now wife. Together they had two more children. Matt is an amazing dad and husband. His family means everything to him. Matt is the guy that cannot wait to get back home to his kids while he’s at work. He is takes the kids fishing, family game nights, campfires at the cottage and he is the guy that goes big with the holidays.
Matt has the biggest heart and is beyond generous. If he has it, it’s yours. If you need help, he’s there. Need support, he’s got your back.
Unfortunately, Matt needs our love and support now.
It’s with heavy heart and the deepest love for my brother that I share this part of his story. Matt had some significant traumas in his life that have been haunting him. To the outside world he is funny, silly and wears a smile while inside he is anxious and depressed; trying to keep his traumas and PTSD under wraps.
A while back Matt was prescribed an opioid for short term use for an injury. Matt discovered that this drug worked for his pain, but more importantly, really well for keeping trauma demons at bay. When his prescription ran out his anxiety reached an all time high, the demons were back and he looked for another source to control them. This has lead to a downward spiral of an opioid addiction over the past several months.
Matt recognized that he had a problem that was going to destroy his life. His precious family, his friendships, his job and his physical life were all at risk. Matt tried desperately to beat this on his own. For many months, he tried to control his opioid addition with methadone, cold turkey, sheer willpower, but his opioid use was too high and the detox withdrawals too powerful and he was forced to use again. He called me over one night in tears. He was desperate to stop, in absolute despair, he talked about killing himself because he could not figure out a way to stop. I told him then that this drug, this addiction, your body’s dependency, is so great that you cannot handle recovery alone. It’s like having cancer and saying that you are going to beat it with willpower alone. It’s bigger than you. It’s bigger than all of us. He needed professional inpatient treatment. Matt agreed. Two days later he went missing.
We called every hospital to see if he had been admitted. We spent the next several days calling treatment centers to collect info for when Matt returned. We were shocked to discover all those covered by OHIP that would take him in a reasonable time, required Matt to be 72 hours sober! Sober... He had tried it alone, he needed help getting clean or he would have done himself already. We did find a great place, but it was private and fee for service. Matt returned home, he could not tell us where or what he had been doing, but agreed to go to rehab.
I am so proud to say that he has been in an inpatient facility for the last 21 days. He was incredibly sick with withdrawals. So sick that the doctors had to be medically sedated him for days at a time. Never has the facility had to do this before. Matt’s opioid levels were so high that he is a miracle to be alive and make it into rehab and not a morgue.
Matt has made amazing progress; he does have more work to do. However, this part of the process was simply for medically supported detox; not counselling/rehab. The doctor and counsellor are recommending Bellwood facility, which is an inpatient sober living facility, with extensive daily therapy. Matt would stay for 60 days. He is desperate to go and terrified of being released from this facility and not have the money for his continued recovery. He very much wants to put his demons to rest for good. He wants his family and life back.
The 60 days will cost a total of $35 000...heartbreaking. This will include the cost of his living and the daily counselling (one-on-one, group and peer-to-peer) that he will be receiving. The free OHIP clinics are out patient and he would only receive counselling once a week for an hour at a time. The stats for relapse coming from the OHIP treatment centers are staggering. It is no wonder that our country is having such an epidemic with opioids. If you cannot afford the specialize treatment, you end up relapsing, using at a higher level than before and in most cases it ends in death.
I am posting this story for two reasons. One, to ask for any financial support you can give to help Matt be successful in his recovery and to help off set the living cost for his family while he is away.
Two, to spread awareness of the opioid crisis happening in Ontario and across Canada. Addicts are everyday people that find themselves unable to cope and discover opioids, often after being prescribed them.
They are educated. They hold great jobs. They are parents, children, they are loved, but they are struggling with a drug bigger than them.
My brother is lucky; most people that get to my brothers stage of use are dead. I am desperate. I am putting in more money to help, but I can’t do it all. My brother and I are incredibly close. My soul is aching for him and I am terrified that he won’t get this help and I’ll lose him. Please show Matt you support his recovery.
Love you all,
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