CANNAHEALTH The Opioid Epidemic - Page 11


Sickle cell disease (SCD) occurs in 1 of 365 African-American births, and 1 of 16,300 Hispanic births, making it the most common inherited blood disorder. About 1 in 13 African-American babies are born with sickle cell trait. The only potential cure is to undergo a bone marrow transplant, which requires a well matched donor. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reports the life expectancy of a person with sickle cell anemia to be 40-60 years. Although, SCD is present at birth, most infants start having problems at 5 or 6 months of age.

With SCD, pain is the predominate symptom and it can rear its ugly head at any time, without any warning signs. The pain can become chronic and unrentless, and often requires large doses of opiates administered intravenously and frequent hospitalizations. I just wish this was the worst of it. With new light shed on the harmful effects of opiates and the recent rhetoric about the “opiod epidemic”, caregivers like myself and patients have to endure this new recent negative stigma. The very people that are supposed to help and took various oaths which were heard by many ears, are now judging. No more smiles exchanged, just leerly eyes darting back and forth, “warm and fuzzys turned ice cold”.


Medical Marijuana:

The Sickle Cell Patient and Pain Management