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Westbrook’s Stephen Barbour seeks treatment in Haverhill, Mass.

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    Westbrook’s Stephen Barbour seeks treatment in Haverhill, Mass. - Staff photo by Gabe Souza | of | Share this photo

    Westbrook native Stephen Barbour was turned on to oxycontin by a close family friend. His addiction to painkillers led him to heroin. He nearly missed the Amtrak train for his trip to rehab in Haverill, Mass., after shooting up with heroin one last time before entering detox.

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    Westbrook’s Stephen Barbour seeks treatment in Haverhill, Mass. - Staff photo by Gabe Souza | of | Share this photo

    Barbour carries most of his possession in a garbage as he gets off an Amtrak train in Haverhill, Mass., en route to a rehabilitation center. He was sent to Massachusetts because of a lack of beds in Maine.

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    Westbrook’s Stephen Barbour seeks treatment in Haverhill, Mass. - Staff photo by Gabe Souza | of | Share this photo

    Barbour meets with Dennis Bates, executive director of Serenity at Summit in Haverhill, as he begins the process of being admitted to rehab center.

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    Westbrook’s Stephen Barbour seeks treatment in Haverhill, Mass. - Staff photo by Gabe Souza | of | Share this photo

    Barbour holds his extra pair of sneakers as he waits in a hallway at the Serenity at Summit for his room to become available. Barbour says he has a weakness for sneakers and hats and shopping for them can sometimes keep his mind "busy" and off the thought of needing to use.

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    Westbrook’s Stephen Barbour seeks treatment in Haverhill, Mass. - Staff photo by Gabe Souza | of | Share this photo

    Barbour has his pulse checked by a nurse before receiving a dose of Suboxone at Serenity at Summit. The throes of detox were severe for Barbour, who'd built a high tolerance to heroin and felt he wasn't being given enough Suboxone to help combat the withdrawal symptoms.

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    Westbrook’s Stephen Barbour seeks treatment in Haverhill, Mass. - Staff photo by Gabe Souza | of | Share this photo

    Barbour sits in bed at the residential facility while going through the detox process.

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    Westbrook’s Stephen Barbour seeks treatment in Haverhill, Mass. - Staff photo by Gabe Souza | of | Share this photo

    Despite receiving Suboxone to control his cravings, Barbour says he still felt terrible.

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    Westbrook’s Stephen Barbour seeks treatment in Haverhill, Mass. - Staff photo by Gabe Souza | of | Share this photo

    Barbour says he couldn't adapt to the conditions at the facility. He says he couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, and constant check-ins by staff drove him crazy.

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    Westbrook’s Stephen Barbour seeks treatment in Haverhill, Mass. - Staff photo by Gabe Souza | of | Share this photo

    Even when patients are treated with compassion and medicine, it doesn't guarantee success. Acting against medical advice, Barbour left Serenity at Summit just three days after getting admitted, hoping to manage his addiction on his own. Within weeks of returning to Maine he stopped responding to attempts to contact him.

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    Westbrook’s Stephen Barbour seeks treatment in Haverhill, Mass. - Staff photo by Gabe Souza | of | Share this photo

    Barbour stands in the doorway of the living room of his mother's apartment in Westbrook after leaving Serenity at Summit. "I just couldn't take it anymore," he says.

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    Westbrook’s Stephen Barbour seeks treatment in Haverhill, Mass. - Staff photo by Gabe Souza | of | Share this photo

    Barbour backs down an imaginary defender while playing basketball by himself in Westbrook. After checking out of rehab he tried to detox from heroin using a stash of Suboxone he'd obtained before being admitted. With no job, Barbour played basketball for hours every day to keep busy. He began using heroin again the following week.

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