Making recovery a reality
OneWorld patient gains hope for the future through achieving sobriety
For Connor, the last 18 months have been focused on making recovery a reality. What started as a long list of goals written on a white board have turned into accomplishments that have improved his life and filled him with hope for the future.
“When I first wrote all of my goals down, it seemed like there was so much and I wasn’t sure if I could do all of it,” said Connor. “But now I only have a few left to achieve, and I get to come up with some new goals.”
Connor initially came to OneWorld in 2020 after being discharged from the intensive care unit at a hospital for an opiate overdose. He began the 12-week Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program that combines behavioral health therapy, led by Longfellow Marquez, LIMHP, LMHP, LADC, and medication to treat substance use disorders.
“MAT helped me have a place to vent and talk to people going through similar situations as me,” said Connor. “The one-on-ones with Longfellow also really helped me get an idea of what I needed to do and how to do it to really be sober.”
After patients complete the MAT program, they continue to see their primary care clinician monthly to maintain their Suboxone prescription.
Connor has seen Family Medicine Physician Assistant, Bethany Levy, MPAS, PA-C, since 2020.
“I struggled the first few times I tried to get sober, but Bethany tried to help me out any way she could,” said Connor. “She never looked down on me and told me she believed in me and that I could always come back. I feel like I can be open and honest with her about everything, and that is crucial for addicts.”
In addition to maintaining his Suboxone prescription, Levy, along with Clinical Pharmacist, Jessica Downes, PharmD, BCACP, CDCES, helped Connor treat and cure his Hepatitis C this past summer. OneWorld’s Medication Assistance Program at the OneWorld Pharmacy provides a once in a lifetime treatment discount that brings the cash price for the 12-week treatment of Mavyret from $13,000 to around $30.
Patients are required to be sober for six months before beginning this treatment.
“Curing Hepatitis C was important for Connor’s physical health, but also helps to decrease the stigma and shame associated with infectious diseases related to addiction,” said Levy. “I am so grateful for the medical advancement and resources that allows us to cure Hepatitis C in family medicine and that Connor made it happen for himself.”
Connor said Levy has helped connect him to many resources throughout his recovery journey, including an outpatient rehabilitation program, the Oxford House self-run recovery homes and oral surgery centers.
“Bethany has been a big advocate for my sobriety and for my life as a whole,” said Connor. “I don’t have insurance, and she has been super helpful in making sure I get the financial support I need as well to be able to stay on track with my sobriety.”
Connor stays busy by working to accomplish his personal goals every day. In the last 18 months, he has secured a job, reconnected with his mom and his daughter, helped redo her room at his mom’s house, paid off some of his debts, fixed his car and purchased a motorcycle.
Looking to the future, Connor said he hopes to eventually move out of the Oxford House and get a place where he and his daughter can live. He also has several goals to support his mental health and obtain closure from grief.
“People who struggle with addiction often go through ups and downs as they try to navigate their lives and achieve sobriety,” said Levy. “Connor is an example of how someone can overcome many obstacles like grief and loss, work hard and get better and pursue the life they want to live. He sets goals and works every day to make them reality.”
While Connor said he has worked very hard to achieve his goals, his mother’s support throughout his recovery, his roommates at his Oxford house and his boss have provided a support system that allows him to stay hopeful and focus on recovery.
“I want to encourage anyone who is going through an addiction, or who knows someone who is, to not give up hope,” said Connor. “I didn’t get it right the first few times, but I had people who supported me through it all, and that means so much to me. I hope this will help others realize they can overcome addiction as well.”