How My Chronic Pain Led to Opiate Addiction and is Now Managed by Cannabis

January 2, 2019 08:03 pm ET
How My Chronic Pain Led to Opiate Addiction and is Now Managed by Cannabis

Doctors love to push opiates and most are in bed with big pharma. Many doctors make money or benefit from the prescriptions they write for their drugs. Most do not care or give a second thought to how it could affect or even ruin a person’s life.  The medical use of marijuana luckily is becoming more accessible and widespread throughout the country and could help to lower the rising deaths related to opiate abuse and addiction.  This is my personal experience with how my chronic pain led to my opiate addiction and how today I am able to manage that pain with cannabis.

I had always had terrible periods and was in excruciating pain daily. Doctors told me for years that I was just overreacting, had a low pain threshold, and that it was just bad cramps. Deep down in my heart, I knew that something was wrong.

Over the years the pain got worse and worse to the point I could not eat or stand. Finally, after pushing the doctors they decided to do exploratory surgery. I never could have imagined what they found, and was still convinced that maybe this pain was all in my head. Well, it was not in my head at all. They found that I had a severe case of endometriosis, it was everywhere, and had fused my organs together. Endometriosis is the buildup of scar tissue from the uterine lining, which is usually is shed when you have your period.  

Being only 32 years old… over the next two years I went through four emotional, and physically painful surgeries.  With every surgery more and more of my reproductive system was removed. My fourth and final surgery resulted in a total hysterectomy and the possibility of ever having children. While in the hospital I was given heavy pain meds and sent home with a prescription for Percocet. This very quickly turned into a full blown opiate addiction.  Now I was not only left with the pain of my infertility but also by my substance abuse. I was physically suffering also from the effects of opiates on my body.  After three years in this vicious cycle, I was detoxed off of opiates and began managing my pain with medicinal marijuana.

If you can take anything away from my story just remember that our instincts are one of the most powerful things we have.  We know when something is wrong especially in our own bodies.  Never be afraid to advocate for yourself. Just because a healthcare professional or anyone else may brush aside your feelings stay true to yourself and your gut feeling is something is not ok.  Remember that they see an endless stream of patients every day and have a set standard for assessing everyone. You are NOT just the same as everyone else. You are a warrior, you know yourself and your body the best, and ultimately you know what is best for you and your health.  Do not ever let anyone else tell you any different and know that you have a right to decide how you will be medically treated for your pain!

Crystal Hampton is a 37-year-old avid writer from South Florida. She loves snuggling with her teacup Yorkie Gator and boyfriend Adam.  She works for a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.

MS- Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis

B.Ed.- Bachelors in Elementary Education

Post Your Comments

Ken says:

January 8, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Been clean for 5 years now – pretty much all because of access to cannabis and support from my family. Wish I had never been prescribed the damn things in the first place.


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