Cristina Rivell has been struggling with an opioid addiction since she was a teenager — going in and out of rehab for five years. The most recent time, her doctor prescribed Suboxone, a low-dose opioid that curbs cravings and prevents symptoms of withdrawal.
“When you’re by yourself, you kind of feel lonely,” she said. “It’s easy to get in your head, and it’s easy to say to yourself, ‘Well, one day, I’m just not gonna take it, and I’m gonna get high for one day.”
She figured if she combined her daily dose of Suboxone with a supportive living environment, she’d have a better chance. She wanted to move into a recovery house, where groups of people who are battling addiction eat together, go to meetings together, and support each other as they go to therapy.
With her time in rehab running out, Rivell started calling around to see who had room for her. But that proved a challenge.
“I would say, like, ‘I’m Cristina, I’m on Suboxone, I’m just looking for an open bed,’ and they’re like, ‘We don’t take people on Suboxone,’ and they’d just hang up on me.”