Addiction is a family disease. One person may use, but the whole family suffers.
One of the greatest need in any chronic illness especially when it comes to sickle cell disease is the need for pain medication. From Opioids to NSAIDS, to very mild drugs the list is endless.
However, the use of drugs, if not properly managed, can lead to drug addiction and drug abuse in society. This is especially true for persons living with sickle cell disorder. Why? Because even though they may have ‘valid’ reasons to take drugs so as to manage their pain or prevent infections one should not end up being addicted to it, thereby leading to a dangerous situation as drug addiction. Unfortunately, some health professionals have tagged people with sickle cell disease as ‘drug addicts’ that we are feigning pain so as to get drugs which in most cases is not true. This tag most times exacerbates the situation and those genuinely in need are not giving the adequate pain meds thereby forcing them to look elsewhere to remove the pain they feel.
Pharmacies who do not bother about the prescription, are then targeted, and due to the lack of know-how in monitoring the relevant dosage of the injection, they gradually find it easier buying and taking the drugs themselves, resulting in habitual use even when the pain is minimal or non-existent.
The recent rise in opioid addiction is worrisome in order to provide enlightenment and awareness on drugs and drug use, Sickle Cell Advocacy and Management Initiative (SAMI) – a Sickle Cell NGO in Nigeria, will be running a month-long campaign. The campaign themed ‘LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL’ will feature tweet chats, video talk and more for the purpose of:
1. Enlightening persons living with sickle cell disorder on the impact of drug misuse and addiction to their health, thereby preventing further abuse.
2. Educating caregivers and health professionals on the management of sickle cell disorder as it relates to drug use.
3. Providing ways to reverse the trend of drug addiction among youths.
4. Create awareness about sickle cell disorder and drug use in the general public.
With the use Hashtags #Vivere which means #StayAlive our aim is to make people believe that no matter what they are going through this life with all its challenges it is still beautiful and not worth destroying your life through addiction