Patient Story: A Support System Is All the Difference

I met Rachel Hutchins after she made the monumental decision to prioritize her own health – a difficult choice for a woman who had lived a long and painful life, both physically and emotionally. She grew up in a fractured and abusive home, where her father and brother succumbed to drug addiction and destructive habits. Though she vowed never to follow in their footsteps, frequent migraines and an ovarian cyst leading to severe pelvic pain helped her fall victim to drug abuse.

Rachel’s long and painful story demonstrates the toll that un-prescribed and unmonitored opioids can take on one’s life. Like her father and brother, she had a genetic predisposition to addiction. Rachel’s stress, caused by physical and emotional pain and combined with exposure to opioids, was more than enough to put her in the drugs’ destructive path.

Regaining control in the midst of addiction takes more than the desire to abstain from drugs. A strong support system can positively impact the pain and the social stressors that play on one another as well. “When I grew up, I thought I was different from others,” Rachel said, “because I watched my little sister die, and my parents got divorced, and there was the fighting and my brother’s heroin abuse. But I’ve learned everybody goes through pain and everybody has their struggles. We all need somebody to hug us and bring us closer when we are in trouble. We all need somebody.”

Read about Rachel’s recovery in my forthcoming book “The Painful Truth,” to be released in September 2015.

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