Personal Stories

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.

Addiction is a chronic disease. Not a character flaw.

Overcoming a substance use disorder is not as simple as resisting the temptation to take drugs through willpower alone. Recovery may involve medication to help with cravings and withdrawal, as well as different forms of therapy. It may even require checking into a rehabilitation facility. Recovery can be challenging, but it is possible. There is hope. There is help. Reach out today.

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


They will help you.
“I promise that help is there. The shame and fear and anger that you think you’re gonna feel. That isn’t the case. You will get help.”


It does not matter who you are.
“Opiates do not discriminate. It does not matter if you’re a teacher. If you are a blue collar worker. Or if you’re an eye doctor. It will grab ahold of you and bring you down. I really didn’t think that I could be an addict. But I am. I’m an addict in recovery.”


Why don’t you just stop using.
“It’s a medical condition. My brain works differently when it comes to drugs. God doesn’t make junk. I’m not a junkie. I have an addiction. I have a disease.”

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 I did this to myself, that it could have been prevented, makes it worse.”

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