Monday, May 20, 2013

Sickle Cell Pain And Opioids

There is no way around pain. It will not be ignored and it must be addressed. The issue doctor's deal with is how to treat it. One way is through the use of Opioids.

Sickle cell pain is chronic and life-long. Unless you have the coveted bone marrow transplant, with 100% marrow match and you've been confirmed "cured," you're gonna have episodes of pain. People with sickle cell disease are prescribed many drugs to help us deal with pain, and we have to be careful not to over take our cure our suffering.

In my previous post, I talk about misconceptions people with sickle cell deal with. One misconception is we're seeking drugs...for fun. This is a huge problem for most people in pain. In addition to misconceptions, there are issues like addiction, depression, damage to organs, and death.

We need Opioids for the relief of pain, however, they are not to be taken lightly. When taking medicine for chronic pain, we (the user) must be informed. Specially related to Opioids, we should know what are they, what they're doing to our bodies, and the risks associated (including abuse and overdose).

To learn more check out this video "Opioids: Friend or Foe" by Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability (CIRPD).  It was intended for healthcare providers, but I also think patients (Opioid users) could benefit from this information. Also, CIRPD's article "Opioids and Chronic Pain."
Take the time and learn about Opioids. These medications are intended to help us, but they can also hurt us if we (the user) do not understand their usefulness and our responsibility. 

Check out CIRPD videos or visit their website
Also, news related to sickle cell disease and opioid effects go to Medical News Today

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