Defying the Family Cycle of Addiction
I am the mother of four, but addiction is my ever-present extra child. My grandparents died of alcoholism. My father-in-law did, too. My 43-year-old brother died of a heroin overdose in May. He became addicted after taking prescribed OxyContin following an appendectomy.
When my 13-year-old daughter needed hernia surgery as my brother was hitting rock bottom, it wasn't the operation I feared. It was the opiates that would be part of her recovery. A 2018 study in the journal Pediatrics reported "persistent" opiate use by nearly 5 percent of patients age 13 to 21 following surgery, as compared to 0.1 percent in the nonsurgical group.
I wanted to figure out a way to help my daughter through the pain without resorting to using opiates.
Days before my daughter's operation, our family devised a pain protocol based on what we learned from a popular TEDtalk .....