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Letter: Drug addicts need to seek great help that is available

Drug addicts need to seek great help that is available

I am a recovering heroin addict. I have been a client at Pathways in Buffalo for 10 years. I have been an addict for over 30 years. I tried Suboxone when I first tried getting clean and it didn’t work. Personally, I think Suboxone is better for someone who has been addicted for two or three years, not someone like me who has been out there for 30-plus years.

Dr. Paul Updike is my doctor and he saved my life. After a year on Suboxone, he said I needed methadone maintenance. I did and I’m here because of it.

Opiate addiction is a disease. I wanted to stop the methadone and was told it’s like being diabetic. You don’t just stop insulin because you think you have been on it long enough. If I have to be on methadone the rest of my days, so be it.

I am now a trusted son, father and significant other. I have been with my girlfriend for close to seven years. I don’t think I would be any of these things had it not been for Dr. Updike.

What’s going on now with heroin and fentanyl is an epidemic like I have never seen. When I started using, the issue was swept under the rug. Now it’s out of control. If I was still using, I’m afraid I would be just another statistic, and that’s a scary thought. The kids of today need to think before they use, and stop before it’s too late. Help is everywhere. If I could stop, anyone can.

Mike Elmer


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