A former opioid addict now runs a Nebraska clinic which seeks to help others kick the addiction to painkillers.
We asked Leo Allison of Omaha what the biggest misconception about opioid addiction is.
“That if you want to stop you just have to be strong and do it,” Allison tells Nebraska Radio Network. “That couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Allison became addicted after being prescribed opioids for pain from an injury.
“Nobody thinks that they’re going to be that guy that they hear about; you know, going into full-blown addiction. Nobody thinks that, or we wouldn’t do it,” Allison says. “But, it is such a cunning, baffling, and powerful affliction of the mind and body that you don’t realize how deep you are in it.”
Allison says the country hasn’t yet seen a turn around to the opioid epidemic that has quickly spread through much of the country, often turning those recovering from surgery into addicts. He says the country won’t see a turn around until it gets at the root causes of addiction, the inadequacies that prompt an individual to turn to pain killers, alcohol, or drugs.
He says it is important for those who have emerged from addiction to share their experiences, something Allison did recently at a USDA roundtable discussion in Nebraska about the growing opioid addiction in rural America.
It took nearly seven years for Allison to break the addiction. His experience led him to found the I Got Sober Recovering Center in Omaha, which uses medication, therapy, and peer support to help addicts get clean.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]