At age 18, Anthony had it all: an exciting career as a semi-pro motorcycle racer, five custom Suzuki bikes, and a Finnish girlfriend he loved.
All that changed in an instant, when Anthony’s truck was struck by a drunk driver, and his girlfriend was pronounced dead at the crash scene.
Devastated by her death and suffering from a concussion and broken bones, he spent a week in the hospital.
“That’s when I was introduced to oxycodone,” says Anthony, now 55 and an Ideal Option patient since 2016.
Anthony recovered enough to return to the race track, but he couldn’t perform like he had.
“I knew the track intimately and used the meds to get me through. It helped the pain a lot. But my head was foggy, and my times were getting slower and slower.”
Anthony’s racing career ended, but his addiction was just beginning. Before long, his doctor was writing him prescriptions for both oxycodone and hydrocodone.
“I wasn’t looking at it as an addiction because a doctor gave the slip,” Anthony says. “I didn’t put two and two together. I considered it something to make me feel normal.”
Eventually, Anthony married, found work at a motorcycle shop, and had three children. As life went on, he needed more pills to maintain that “normal” feeling.
He sunk into a deep depression, fueled by PTSD over the accident that had killed his girlfriend. When he’d run low on pills, he felt the crushing weight of depression.
“I couldn’t get out of bed,” he recalls. “I just wanted to stay under the covers the entire day.”
He began calling in sick so often that he got fired from his job. He hid his addiction from his wife, telling her the company had been laying off employees.
Eventually, Anthony and his family moved to a new state, and his new doctor dialed back his pill prescription. To avoid feeling sick, Anthony began buying pills off the street. But he couldn’t afford them.
He began stealing cash from the church where he was employed as a jack-of-all-trades. He even took his daughter’s ATM card.
“The worse I felt, the harder I tried to get the pills,” he said. “My main focus was: I’ve got to get the pills.”
When he finally revealed his addiction to his wife, he says, “She started yelling at me, telling me what a piece of crap I was.” It wasn’t the reaction Anthony had expected.
He and his wife separated, and Anthony, who’d been a devoted T-ball coach, basketball coach, and church youth-group leader, found himself unable to focus attention on his kids.
“My oldest daughter would say, ‘Dad, every time we come over, you don’t feel good.”
Eventually, Anthony and his wife divorced, and she and the kids moved to a different state.
Anthony remarried to a woman in recovery from addiction.
“I told her early on that I had a problem, and she was very caring about it,” Anthony says. “That’s what I needed.”
His new wife didn’t push him into treatment but instead stood back until he “hit rock bottom” and decided for himself that he needed to change.
That realization came one morning when Anthony had run out of pills and money. He asked a friend to front him pills, but his friend said no.
“Something hit me,” Anthony says. “I looked around and saw how I was living. I was at the point where I didn’t have anything of any worth anymore. I had lost my kids because of this. I had lost my brand-new house that we’d built on a hill. I pawned my Suzuki and my X-Box. I had to stop. I was done.”
One of his drug connections recommended Ideal Option. “She said, ‘You should try them out. You’ll be a lot better off than you are now.”
As soon as Anthony started Suboxone, he felt normal again.
“Suboxone took away the cravings. I liked how I felt on it — not high, just normal.”
That was seven years ago, and Anthony has maintained his recovery. Instead of exhausting himself and finances chasing pills, he gets to live in peace.
“I can buy vehicle parts and have money in my pocket. When my chihuahua died, I was able to pay the bill for the cremation. Instead of feeling like the low man on the totem pole, it feels good knowing I can pay for what I need.”
Even better, Anthony has regained mental focus.
“When I had a problem with the surround sound for my TV, I was able to take apart the processor and re-sauter it. My head’s more clear. Life is so much better. I can’t think of anything in the world that would put me back on pills.”