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What it’s like to get treatment for opioid dependence

“I listen to morning radio. I listen to what people say when they ring in, and it makes me cry. People are so vicious. But nobody can give me a harder time about addiction than I give myself.”

Rustie started experiencing lower back pain when she was just 16 years old. As it got worse and worse, she went to a doctor who gave her a script for the pain. “When it hurt,” says Rustie, “I was on to doctors continuously about medication. It was the quickest way to stop the pain.”

More than three decades later, Rustie is recovering from her ongoing dependence on opioids and benzodiazepines.

When Rustie first walked into her current doctor’s office, she was offered medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependency (MATOD) as a treatment option.

“To have a doctor that understands pharmacotherapy and pain after all those years was a blessing,” says Rustie. “I’m free to be me.”

Watch Rustie and Rayleen share their lived experience of opioid dependancy.


It’s estimated that 40,000 people could benefit from receiving MATOD but are not currently accessing it.

For more information about MATOD, check out:

Pharmacotherapy/Medication assisted treatment

Preventing prescription medication misuse – opioids

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