Eight months later, the 71-year-old checked into rehab.
"I couldn't play golf with my friends. I couldn't go to restaurants," said Evard, "My life was ending. I mean, I didn't have anything really reason to live, except just living for the more medications."
Health experts warn, people who become addicted to opioids are at risk of switching to cheaper and more addictive drugs, like heroin.
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office has been tracking deadly overdoses. About 21-percent of overdose deaths so far this year, are age 55 and older.
Pain specialist Irene Wu said opioids can be used safely for acute pain. There are additional worries when prescribing to seniors.
"Plder patients are more prone to side effects because they metabolize medications much more slowly," said Dr. Wu.
John says the withdrawal symptoms were brutal but worth it. He insists the best relief he gets, is from exercise.