Leonidas Tsiaras is an example of how medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder can turn around someone’s life.
After surgery for extraction of his wisdom teeth at 20, Tsiaras, now 42, became addicted to prescription Percocets doctors gave him for pain, and as the story so often goes, pretty quickly found himself injecting heroin.
He did take methadone for about 11 years and had success with it for the most part, though Tsiaras admits he used heroin off and on during that time. But having to go to a clinic every day while trying to hold down his job at his family’s Philadelphia-based pizza shop, was difficult for him, Tsiaras said.
About two years ago, he decided to detox off of methadone himself and wound up in an emergency room and nearly died. Then Tsiaras lived with his parents for a few months before making his way to Kensington to start using heroin again.