“This Place Saved My Life”

Brent values being able to talk to Samantha, a peer support worker, at the RAAM clinic.

Brent was no stranger to addiction. At 61, he had already enjoyed 26 years of sobriety as a recovering alcoholic.

But when he was diagnosed with throat cancer and prescribed narcotics, Brent didn’t realize how dangerous that was.

“I knew nothing about painkillers,” said Brent. “I had no idea.”

Initially, the pills did what they were supposed to – they managed Brent’s pain. But it didn’t take long before Brent realized he was taking them for other reasons.

“I was kind of happy, getting a buzz, a high,” said Brent. “And I tried to stop taking the pills a few times, but I couldn’t.”

Brent realized if he kept taking the pills, he wouldn’t be alive for much longer – he was taking far too many.

His doctor told him about House of Friendship’s Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) at the Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic in Cambridge, where he could walk in and receive help the same day.

There, Brent met with House of Friendship’s peer support worker, Samantha. She had gone through her own journey with addiction, and provided a listening ear.

“She is a great help to me because I need to get things out of me. She understands what I’m saying,” said Brent. 

He also received medication to relieve withdrawal symptoms, and counselling with an addiction counsellor. All of this started the day he walked in.

“If I had to wait, I wouldn’t have made it,” said Brent. “This place saved my life.”

Posted on: February 12th, 2024

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