Survivor of opioid addiction describes what withdrawal feels like

When Matt Ganem was first exposed to OxyContin at the age of 16, he didn’t know the pills would lead him down a path of self-destruction over the next five years, he says in a video published by STAT.

Ganem, who is now sober and helps other addicts find treatment, describes what it felt like to go through withdrawal in the video, which looks at why opioid addiction is so difficult to beat and how the drugs affect the body.

“It’s basically like you’re living in hell,” Ganem says.

Last year, 1,379 people died from opioid overdoses in Massachusetts — an eight percent increase from 2014. Between 1999 and 2014, more than 165,000 people died nationally from prescription opioid overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read the full STAT report here.

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