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Story | April 2, 2024

From Surgeon to Sober: Battling Oxycodone Addiction and Reclaiming Life

The following blog post is written by a SAFE Project volunteer. Though some sections have been lightly edited, it is otherwise presented in their own words. Please consider sharing your story with us.

A Story from Jordan Jacobson

My journey began in 2017 during a routine gym session when a friend offered me a 10 mg Oxy before working out. Reluctantly, I took it and experienced a high like never before, propelling me into a cycle of addiction to Oxycodone. Over time, the initial 10 mg orally wasn’t sufficient, leading me to escalate to 30 mg orally and eventually snorting up to 90 mg at a time. This dangerous progression continued until, over four years, I reached a daily intake of up to 180 mg.

In February 2022, I took a hiatus from work and enrolled in an 8-week rehab program in Pennsylvania. At the end of the program, the medical director advised me to transition to a sober house for at least three months. Initially thinking I was ready to resume my normal life, I later realized I wasn’t prepared, despite eight weeks of sobriety.

In April 2022, I joined Providence Sober House, a haven for professionals in suburban Pennsylvania. Despite more freedom than rehab, the experience was humbling. I worked at Lowe’s in the Lumber department, a stark contrast to my surgical profession. The staff, aware of my background, occasionally made life challenging, fostering an environment of envy and jealousy.

My time at the sober house concluded in September 2022, and by December 2022, I had reclaimed my old job. However, recent legal issues surfaced, leading to a hiatus until resolution. Despite these challenges, I am doing my best and will mark two years of sobriety on February 19, 2024.

Three years after the onset of my addiction, the collateral damage is still unfolding. The lesson learned is that recovery may take years, requiring perseverance. I liken my experience to the Myth of Sisyphus, condemned to roll a boulder uphill repeatedly. Every time I approached the proverbial “finish line,” another challenge emerged. The moral is to keep moving forward, trust the process, always do the next right thing, and believe it will eventually work out for the best.

I leave you with a quote from a Scottish folk song about Sir Andrew Barton, a 1400s privateer in the Scottish navy: “I am hurt, but I am not slain. I’ll lay myself down and bleed a while, and then I’ll rise and fight again.”

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