By Jay Baruch, STAT First Opinion, January 15, 2020
Cheryl overdosed on heroin — or so she’d hoped — the night before. But that’s not the reason she’s in the emergency department late the next day with me sitting at her gurney, confused.
She woke up this morning so upset to be alive she kicked a wall at the homeless shelter and broke her toe. But that’s not why she’s in the ED, either.
Something came up a few weeks ago that made her miss her appointment at the methadone clinic. That absence got her kicked out of the clinic for 30 days, or so she said. The withdrawal symptoms made her want to die, and returning to heroin was the easiest solution. But wanting to stop using heroin isn’t the reason she’s in the emergency department.