Pain management can necessitate the use of powerful opiates, with the goal of establishing an overall course of action to combat pain. The reality is that consistent use of opiates can lead to dependency and addiction issues, commonly known as Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). The AZSCIA is committed to learning more about opioid use disorder and the reverberating effects it can have on the SCI survivor as well as their family, friends, and other loved ones.
If you have stories about how opioid addiction has affected you, we would love to listen to your story. We understand that these issues are sensitive, but the goal is to utilize qualitative evidence that can be shared with state officials and professionals to address a growing epidemic in the SCI community. If you are a caregiver or loved one of someone going through opioid use disorder or addiction, we would be grateful to learn more about your unique perspective. These stories are evidence that can be used to highlight gaps and inefficiencies in the system. All responses will remain completely confidential.
We are currently working to develop an OUD Resource ToolKit among other resources for the community. Your input is very important and valuable to us. We thank you in advance.
All responses will remain completely confidential.
Personal Stories Shared With Us
“I have small nerve fiber neuropathy and I was on opioid pain medication for nearly 8 years. It was very difficult to get off of these medications while still being in chronic pain. I was able to transition from Fentanyl pain patches to large dosages of Norco and Tramadol with the help of a nerve simulator implant. I am still young (32) and I want badly to have children. So, despite not recovering from the pain, I decided to get off of the opioid medications. Although my doctors are kind and experts in their fields, they didn’t know how to help me withdraw. I developed serotonin syndrome and had extreme depression. It was a nurse practitioner at my primary care office that realized my depression was a result of tapering too fast from my opioids and she managed my mental health during the last decreases in the medication. I now am not on any opioid pain medication – and have been for over 6 months. The hardest thing is not being able to be as active. I have to settle with doing less each day because I simply have too much pain to continue. Despite this negative, I now have the chance at being a mom – which makes it all worth it.”