Opioid Addiction and Recovery

Opioid Addiction and Recovery

Anita, 49, was a Legal aid Lawyer in St. John’s, Newfoundland.  When her husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she took a personal leave from her job to take care of him full-time. Anita fed him, bathed him, and made sure he took his pain medicine. She also had to take care of all the household duties like cleaning, paying bills, and making meals. It was a 24-hour-a-day job and Anita was tired all of the time. She applied for long-term disability through her insurance company but was denied because they said she did not need to be home with her husband. 

Anita’s husband was so weak from his cancer that she had to help him in and out of bed. The constant lifting caused Anita to suffer from severe back pain. At first, the pain was tolerable, but soon it became so excruciating that Anita didn’t think she would be able to continue to care for her husband. She appealed her long-term disability denial and told her insurance company about her back pain, but they denied her again.

So Anita started taking her husband’s pain pills to cope. At first, it was manageable. Soon, however, Anita couldn’t function without taking a pill. After her husband died and his pills ran out, Anita could not get a refill and panicked. That’s when she knew she had a problem. 

6:00 a.m.

I wake up and it takes me a few minutes to remember that my husband is gone. For weeks I would get up early every day and try and convince him to eat. I always dreaded seeing the look of sadness in his eyes when he told me he just didn’t have an appetite. Now I wish I could see that look just one more time because it would mean he was still with me.

12:00 p.m.

This was always the time when I would bathe my husband. When he was too weak to get out of bed, or my back hurt too much to carry him, I would just give him a sponge bath in bed. The day when I first decided to take one of his pain pills is a day I will always regret. I tried to hide it from him, but he knew. He told me it was ok, but the guilt and shame were overwhelming.

6:00 p.m.

I made it through another day without my husband. I know I will carry this grief with me forever. But I am proud of myself for making it through another day without taking a pain pill. My therapist says that I should focus on the small victories instead of dwelling on the past. I am trying. Some days are easier than others, but I look forward to the time when the pain is not as bad as it is now. I’m grateful to Share Lawyers for helping me when I had nowhere else to turn.

Opioid addiction has become increasingly common in Canada. Medicines such as fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, and hydromorphone can help relieve pain, but they are also highly addictive. These drugs affect your mind, mood, and mental processes, but they can also cause a feeling of euphoria, which increases the chances of improper use of opioids. Opioid addiction doesn’t just impact younger people. According to a national study, opioid addiction in Canada occurs across all sociodemographic and socioeconomic groups. 

Anita sought treatment for her addiction from her doctor, who suggested that she go for treatment on an outpatient basis. However, Anita was dealing with two issues: grief over the death of her husband and opioid addiction. Although Anita enrolled in the outpatient treatment plan, she still felt too overwhelmed to continue working. That’s when she contacted Share Lawyers for help. We agreed to take her case and take on her insurance company.

Has your long-term disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We have recently settled cases against Great-West Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and many more. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.