With an opioid crisis gripping the nation – people from every demographic and economic strata have fallen victim – one former patient’s story explains how this could happen to anyone in the latest installment of Northwell Health’s podcast series Health Story.
New Yorker Jonathan Allen suffered a sports injury as a teenager. He was prescribed a painkiller, Vicodin, after tearing knee ligaments. That’s when opioid addiction first took hold. Now 30, Mr. Allen has been clean for more than two years. With his life on track, he openly discussed his hazy journey into addiction – and back.
“You want to stop,” said Mr. Allen, describing the inner struggle with opioid abuse. “You want to stop taking these drugs eventually. Your brain is like, ‘Yeah, that’d be great. But you and both know you can’t do it.’”
Mr. Allen, with the help of family, friends and health care professionals, finally kicked his addiction. He received treatment at the Garden City Treatment Center, part of Zucker Hillside Hospital.
“This is a true public health crisis we’re dealing with,” said Sandeep Kapoor, MD, director of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) at Northwell Health. He’s calling for greater conversation between medical professionals and more open dialogue with doctors and patients.
Listen to the podcast: To hear the episode, click here.
# # #
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, more than 600 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 63,500 employees – 15,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.