Crystal Oertle is the Assistant Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide and has attended and spoken publicly at many recovery and heroin / drug awareness events. This includes speaking at the National Rx Summitt on stage with President Barack Obama on March 29th, 2016. To see a video of her speech and her engaging with President Barack Obama, visit “Obama Coming to Philly to Campaign for Clinton“.
Crystal Ortle is very passionate about recovery and intends to “Erase the Shame” and stop the stigma associated with addiction and medicine assisted treatment. Crystal is in recovery and has chosen Suboxone to help her in her path to success. Below, she describes why she’s chosen Suboxone and why it works for her.
Why Suboxone Works for Me – Crystal Oertle
I’ve done many things in active addiction that I’m not proud of, and it was all to get the dope I needed so I wasn’t sick anymore with withdrawals. I lied, manipulated, stole, whatever I had to do to get money for my dope. I was a shitty person and I didn’t care. I wasn’t thinking about making my life better, or about helping others. I was self obsessed and obsessed with my drug of choice every day all day. I wasn’t a good mother, daughter, sister, aunt, etc. Sometimes the only reason I talked to my family for days or weeks was if I needed money or a place to sleep it off for a few days. That is what life on heroin was like for me.
When I hear people say that Suboxone is just as bad as heroin I can’t agree, and I wonder why they think this. Because all I have to do is compare my life on heroin to my life on Suboxone and it’s a 180 degree turn around.
Since I started in treatment on Suboxone, my life has improved 100%. I met the President of the United States for goodness sake. I wouldn’t have been invited to speak on a panel with the President if I was still on heroin! I’ve become the mother I needed to be for my children. I have become a daughter that helps my Mom with her health issues instead of the daughter that takes. I’m a real friend to my Sister now, not just a friend for an hour until I get up the courage to ask for $20 then leave 5 minutes later. I’m active in my community as an advocate for other struggling addicts. I speak in public, which is something I never imagined I would be doing 2 years ago. I talk to police, judges, counselors, anyone who will listen and help with this epidemic we’re facing.
I’m not sticking a needle in my arm, risking an overdose and leaving 2 children without a Mother because of a drug that had it’s hooks in me. I found recovery with Suboxone. It saved me from all the dirty things I did when I was using heroin. So, how could it possibly be just as bad as heroin? And, how is it just trading one drug for another? I’ve traded one drug for another, believe me. And my life wasn’t like this!! I was smoking crack or shooting up bath salts instead of heroin for a while. That’s trading one drug for another.
Suboxone causes a physical dependence. Yes, this is true. You aren’t supposed to just stop taking it. But what medication do you just stop taking? None that I know of. Most of them say to consult a physician before changing the dosage or stop taking all together. You have to taper down from Suboxone when you are ready. What’s wrong with that? Actually, what’s wrong if someone has to take Suboxone the whole rest of their life? It’s better than shooting dope and risking an overdose, or contracting a disease, or getting an abscess.
I think of Suboxone as a small tool in my recovery. You must do counseling, support groups, 12 step meetings, change people, places, and things, get healthy mentally, physically and spiritually along with taking medication for addiction. Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT) isn’t just about the medicaton. You still have to change your whole lifestyle.
This is just my experience with Suboxone and what’s worked for me. But I will say I would rather be on Suboxone for the rest of my life than go back to shooting up heroin for just one day of my life!
More on Medicine Assisted Treatment
There’s no doubt that Suboxone, Methadone and medicine assisted treatment (MAT) in general creates controversy, mostly because people don’t understand how and why medicine assisted treatment works. We recently wrote an article “Methadone and Suboxone: The brutal Truth About Medicine Assisted Treatment“. We strongly encourage you to read it as it is fact-based and is designed to debunk the myths and stigma associated with MAT.
William – Publisher and Founder of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
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