Sudbury·HOOKED

Sudbury man shares some lessons learned when seeking rehab

Eric Cashmore has a pretty good idea of how the rehab program in Ontario works. He’s been through six different programs to help him with his addiction.

Eric Cashmore has been through 6 different rehab programs in the last year

Eric Cashmore says it's important to do your research before going to rehab. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

Eric Cashmore has a pretty good idea of how the rehab program in Ontario works. He's been through six different programs to help him with his addiction.

Back in July, 2019 he pleaded guilty to a 2017 charge of communicating with a male for the purpose of obtaining sexual services for consideration, and a 2018 charge of trespassing at night.

He received a fine and probation on the first charge. The second was withdrawn.

He's now been sober for just over a year. He started using hard drugs after he was sexually assaulted in Toronto in 2008 and contracted HIV.

A bad trip last year landed him in the Sudbury hospital and he then decided it was time to get help.

After being through several programs, Cashmore says he's discovered all rehabs are different.

"If you're someone that's struggling with addictions and treatment is something you're considering, do your research," he said.

"Know what the treatment is going to look like and know what kind of treatment program it is."

He says programs are run in a variety of ways, including 12-step, cultural and harm-reduction. Many vary in how long they are and whether clients stay on site.

"They're all designed for different people who need different things," he said.

Wanting a better life

He says once you do apply, be prepared to wait. He acknowledges how difficult that wait can be when you want help. But he says once you're in, it's not easy.

"Rehab is difficult for a lot of different reasons," he said.

"You're going to a place where everyone is sick. [But] one thing that happens in rehab, if you let it happen, is you have the opportunity to be part of something amazing."

In one of his recent programs, Cashmore was enrolled in a rehab facility in southwestern Ontario. In his group, he recalls meeting two people on his first day who were "extremely aggressive for their own reasons."

"By week three, I saw these two women just smiling, crying and holding their kids," he said.

"Both of them were there because they wanted to be better moms and they wanted to be better humans for themselves and they just wanted a better life."

CBC Sudbury has been focusing on the opioid crisis affecting Sudbury and northeastern Ontario in our series called HOOKED. You can read and hear more about this issue online.

 

With files from Jan Lakes

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