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    Opinion: Downtown methadone clinics are a good thing

    From hot and cold sweats to body aches, to vomiting and diarrhea, to sum it all up its PURE HELL to go through and becomes a fight for life! I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

    By Carlie Fortin, North Bay.

    Hello, my name is Carlie Fortin and I am 26 years old and live in North Bay.

    I just wanted to share my thoughts and personal experience in one of the downtown methadone clinics to help people better understand that it really is a good place despite what people may think.

    I have been on methadone since August 2016 and let me tell you it has been the best decision I have ever made in my life!

    Before I was attending the Ontario Addiction Treatment Centre (OATC) of North Bay I was heavily into opiates! It started off with smaller things as just a party thing only, then began to grow into more heavier choices. Before I knew it I was opiate dependent!

    it got so bad that it was no longer a want, but was an everyday NEED for survival!

    Some people think, “Oh well, just stop doing it and there ya go.” Well sorry, but no that’s not the way it is! The withdrawals are physical and can make even the simplest of tasks seem unbearable! From hot and cold sweats to body aches, to vomiting and diarrhea, to sum it all up its PURE HELL to go through and becomes a fight for life! I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy!

    Anyways, during this time I became homeless, in and out of jail constantly, lost all my friends and family and even started to self-harm because I would have rather been dead then go through a day of withdrawals without being able to cure it!

    I had no compassion or empathy for anything or anyone for that matter. I was so skinny you could see every bone in my body sticking out! All that was on my mind constantly was, where and how am I going to get my next fix to get me through today? I didn’t care what I had to do to get it as long as I wasn’t sick! I completely lost all respect for myself and everyone and everything around me!

    AND THEN!

    August 2016 I decided enough is enough! I NEED help and I’m tired of doing this!

    I signed up to the methadone clinic and was given my first dose that very same day. It is now February of 2019 and I haven’t touched a single opiate since and I NEVER will again.

    Since being on methadone I have finished school. I have been living in my own apartment and am now a mother to my beautiful 3-year-old daughter. I got my family back. I changed my friends. I am a HUMAN again. I am actually LIVING life instead of living a nightmare!

    I always have money to provide for my daughter, pay bills, and anything and everything else I need to do. Let me tell you I am HAPPIER than ever and its all because of this one place. The OATC of North Bay and its staff members who have helped me to get my life on track. I am beyond grateful to have such a place to go to every day that keeps me on track and reminds me that life is really worth fighting for and there is more to it than just doing drugs!

    Trust me, I was THE worst of the worst and it couldn’t have got any worse for me before being on the program.

    If I can do it ANYONE can!

    This place not only helped me get better but it saved my life! Another week and I would have been dead or in jail for the rest of my life!

    So to the people who think methadone clinics are nothing but a free drug station…. it’s NOT! It saves lives and continues to do so every day! You just have to be willing! It does work! I can say from my own experience that I am lucky to be here today and the only reason why is because of that program!

    THANKS OATC FOR SAVING MY LIFE!

    Carlie Fortin

    Bay Today Editor’s note: Carlie been clean since the day she walked into the methadone clinic in August 2016, going every day since then. The day she went to sign up for methadone they actually told her she was pregnant. She had no idea before that. Carlie’s daughter just turned 3 on January 6 and the two of them continue to live and prosper in North Bay.

    Reprinted from BayToday. View original letter on baytoday.ca

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