The plight of heroin addiction
Born and raised in Switzerland, educated in good schools, polite and gentle.
He fell into heroin addiction.
In time, left all alone to fight the illness.
Fell into Methadone and Heroine more and more…
Continued to struggle, everyday hunting for temporary self healing.
He drew himself up rules of survival, and rules of dignity.
No crimes, no hurting others in any way or form.
He would not take any government help, or aid of any kind.
He would take any job that would provide himself shelter, food for his stomach and for his addiction.
And the years continued to pass by.
The hunger to feed his dependency grew, and in time, he could no longer feed his body.
Thinner and thinner in body, but steel strong in his own rules and dignity.
No crimes; he would not harm anybody in any way.
Coffee with a lot of sugar were the only meals he had for the last 3 months.
Just before his clock was on its last tick – he found his way to us.
Kind and delicate smile. Very, very skinny with almost no muscles left. Pale with very long black hair.
It was clear that we had to take him in.
We had to use all our experience and expertise to try and keep him among the living.
After all, he made it to us. He survived until now.
I knew he had his dreams and they never came true.
I knew that he had won a thousand battles, but his life was taken over by his dependency.
At the intensive care unit – tracheal tube, nasogastric tube, IV infusions, monitors, respirators, all that modern medicine could offer.
But probably too weak to cope with any physical stress.
This time, we’ll let him rest, and we will fight for him.
Very delicate, he had no strength to breathe, his blood pressure was dropping again and again, blood gazes to be managed, electrolytes to be repaired, withdrawal waves to be managed and controlled.
Lung infection on site, intravenous antibiotics.
We were in battle.
Slowly, the waves of withdrawal started fading away.
The treatment was done, now we had to stop anesthesia, stop the respiration machine. We had to hand to him the task of breathing on his own.
The next morning, he was flat, almost no movement, eyes half open starring at the ceiling.
No symptoms or signs of any withdrawal, but too weak to respond to anything.
The battle continued.
We gave him all we could to try and help him to recover.
In the evening he started talking. We gave him a yogurt, and he start eating, and after the first spoon he smiled.
“How nice and tasty it is… I completely forgot what a great feeling it is to eat yogurt.”
From that moment, he started eating and enjoying every step of the recovery period.
In two days, I could discharge him from the hospital to start his way back into the life he lost so many years ago.
For me, this man is a true hero.
I am grateful and honored I have, in a way, played a role in the life story of this man.
It is a privilege to be a part of my own team.
I thank all the ones that have contributed in any way or form to all I have learned.
Throughout his career, he has lectured and educated health professionals in dozens of countries around the world to this day.