SCURRY, Texas – The world of opioid addiction, the path it takes, and the destruction it causes is a world that unites but strangers are too familiar to others.
"When I was 19, I was first introduced to opioids," said Andrew Rogers.
Rogers is one of an estimated 1.7 million people in the US who are addicted to opioids.
“I started with painkillers that were easily accessible to heroin. The pain relievers have actually become more difficult and expensive, so it is only cheaper and easier to get heroin, "added Rogers," from then on it was done. “
Before getting involved with heroin, Rogers had a bright future ahead of him with a full-time college scholarship on a pre-medical track. Instead, he has spent the past nine years in fairly dark places.
"It made me do things that I never thought I would do," said Rogers. "I overdosed twice. I had friends who died of it. I actually had to hold on to one of my friends while he died."
Like so many addicts, Rogers tried to stop. He was in rehab and detoxified a total of 18 times. In late September, he checked himself again at The Treehouse, a recreation center.
"We are taking the approach of treating the whole person," said Dr. Ted Bender, CEO of The Treehouse. “Teach them to think more rationally and teach them how to deal with the regulation of stress and emotions. Teach them how to have fun and enjoy life again and become part of a community. “
For almost a decade, Bender has been trying to help as many people as Andrew Rogers.
“We lose about one football stadium every year due to this epidemic. You know what would have an immediate impact – substantial federal funding, ”said Bender.
"Recovery in itself is not the hard part. The hard part is getting the help you need," said Rogers.
When asked what motivated him this time, be clean stay and win in the fight against his addiction, Rogers says it is his 4 year old daughter and family.