Personal Stories | Avoid Opioid SD
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South Dakota Stories

Opioid addiction can happen before you know it.
There are serious risks associated with taking opioids including: addiction, long-term health problems, paralysis, and death. Anyone who takes prescription opioids—even as prescribed—can become addicted to them. In fact, 1 in 4 people who are prescribed opioids struggle with addiction.

These are real-life stories from South Dakotans recovering from opioid addiction. They are featured here to help South Dakotans understand the risks of prescription opioids misuse and abuse.

Melanie: Opioids — you cannot outsmart them.

“When I started feeling like I couldn’t get through the day without opioids is the point I wish I would have asked for help.”

Lucas: Addiction is a disease.

“It took a long time to realize that addiction is a disease. Addiction is so much ore than bad choices.”

Melanie: This doesn’t happen to me.

“By the third surgery I started using the medication more and more to get through my day. It totally changed who I was.”

Lucas: I knew something was wrong.

“It’s not a light switch. You cannot just turn it on or off. Addicts aren’t bad people, they’re a good person who’s on a bad path.”

Jayne: My addiction started out very innocently.

“It just happened before I knew it. I did things in my addiction that I would never do otherwise. I just wished I would have asked for help long before it got this bad. Pick up that thousand pound phone and call somebody.”

David: These drugs don’t discriminate.

“After 13 surgeries in 18 years, I became addicted to opiates. When I went to rehab I realized that I have an addiction…there may not be a cure, but there is treatment. There’s hope.”

Stories from around the Country

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched Rx Awareness, a powerful communication campaign featuring stories of people recovering from opioid use disorder and people who have lost loved ones to prescription opioid overdose. The Rx Awareness campaign is using these testimonials to educate the public, focusing on the dangers of prescription opioids whether used for medical or non-medical purposes.


“He took one pill—one pill too many.”


“Knowing that it could have been prevented made it worse.”

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