%22I was given a prescription opioid pain medication that lasted a lot longer than the pain itself.

Mike grew up in a typical blue-collar family, playing street hockey and pickup football in local parks. He was always a good student and excelled as a three-sport varsity athlete in high school. During his senior year in high school, Mike had surgery to repair a broken wrist due to a hockey injury. Following his surgery, he was prescribed an opioid pain medication. Shortly after this, his wisdom teeth were removed, and he was written another prescription for opioids. Mike believes his use of prescription opioids transitioned to addiction within three to six months after first taking prescription opioids. He did not realize how physically dependent upon opioids his body had become until he became very sick from withdrawal after forgetting to bring his prescription on a vacation. From then on, he continued taking prescription opioids not to treat any pain, but to avoid feeling these withdrawal symptoms ever again. As his addiction progressed, he recalls completely losing sight of his goals and the things he once loved. Mike eventually had to stop playing sports in college and drop out of his classes. He became depressed and described his addiction as “isolating.”

After multiple recovery attempts and a hard-won battle, Mike overcame his addiction and is now thriving in recovery. He returned to school, earned his bachelor’s degree, and is currently pursuing a graduate degree. Mike is now a passionate advocate for those struggling with addiction, a certified intervention professional, and the founder of Wicked Sober LLC. His business is a Recovery Centers of America Company that assists those struggling with drug and alcohol dependency in the process of achieving recovery.

Learn more about opioid misuse and overdose, data, and prevention resources at CDC’s Opioid Overdose website.

Learn more about opioid data and resources.