Robert Kerley is recovering from an opioid addiction with help from Kaiser Permanente’s pain management program in Colorado. John Daley / Colorado Public Radio
Seven years ago, Robert Kerley, who makes his living as a truck driver, was loading drywall onto his trailer when a gust of wind knocked him off. He fell 14 feet and hurt his back.
For pain, a series of doctors prescribed him a variety of opioids: Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycontin.
In less than a year, the 45-year-old from Federal Heights, Colo., says he was hooked. “I spent most of my time high, lying on the couch, not doing nothing, sleeping, dozing off, falling asleep everywhere,” he says.
Kerley lost weight. He lost his job. His relationships with his wife and kids suffered. He remembers