It took a lot of convincing to get John Evard into rehab. He was reluctant to give up the medications that he was certain were keeping his pain at bay. But ultimately he agreed — and seven days into his stay at the Las Vegas Recovery Center, the nausea and aching muscles of opioid withdrawal are finally beginning to fade.
“Any sweats?” a nurse asks him as she adjusts his blood pressure cuff.
“Last night it was really bad,” he tells her, “but not since I got up.” Evard, who is 70, says he woke up several times in the night, his sheets drenched with sweat.
Evard says it is hard to understand, even for him, how he ended up 300 miles away from his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., at this bucolic facility in the suburbs of Las Vegas. “This is the absolute first time I ever had anything close to addiction,” he says. He prefers the term “complex dependence” to describe his situation.