Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 3 2017 - Page 33

PATIENT PERSPECTIVES After the Fall Mother and daughter take different opioid paths By Stuart Foxman Donna May is co-founder of a coalition of parents who work to advocate for action on opioids. W hen you tumble down a flight of stairs, how long does it take to reach the bottom? For Donna May’s daugh- ter, Jac, about nine years. In 2003, Jac stumbled, fell and hit a concrete landing in her Sault Ste. Marie basement. She hurt her back, had deep tissue bruising and broke her clavicle. Jac was 25, a mother to two children, and was about to get her first prescription for OxyContin. Before her daughter did, Ms. May had her own experience with opioids. She understands that for many people, they are of real benefit. But she also knows that not everyone is a candidate for opioid therapy. And for some people, they may only worsen a bad situation. Ms. May is the co-founder of mumsDU – Moms United and Mandated to Saving the Lives of Drug Us- ers (mumsdu.com). This coalition of parents works with communities, policy makers and health-care profession- als to advocate for action around opioids. The group call s for progress on harm reduction poli- cies (e.g., ready access to detox and treatment facilities); access to Naloxone for all first responders (including the families of opioid users); and initiatives for the continu- ing education of opioid prescribers. Ms. May looks back on her daughter’s struggles with some bewilderment. “I thought I did the best I could ISSUE 3, 2017 DIALOGUE 33