Real stories

Painkiller addiction can affect everyone

Read real stories from people whose lives have been affected by pain medication. Pain medication addiction can affect everyone and everyone’s story is unique to them. Taking action and asking for help is the first step to managing your pain.

  • “I had no idea that I was an addict...”

    Lisa’s story
    Lisa didn't know she was an addict. Originally from Georgia USA, she now lives in Yorkshire. She didn't know it at the time, but her experience of opiate addiction started at just 23 and wiped out her 20s.
    Read Lisa’s story
  • Louise has lived with persistent pain almost all of her life.
    Starting with ‘growing pains’ as a child. This is her journey from dependence on opioids to an opioid-free life.
    Louise’s story
  • Dan decided to manage his pain and be medication free.
    Restless leg syndrome resulted in him taking the maximum dose of morphine and oramorph.
    Dan’s story
  • Jill's prescription of Codeine Phosphate resulted in a range of serious consequences.
    She now uses a wide variety of techniques to maintain her physical and mental well-being.
    Jill’s story
  • Initially, Keith took normal over the counter pain medication, but the pain led him to a prescription of Codeine.
    After 5 years of a cocktail of pain medication and side effects he went to see his GP and over 6 months gradually reduced and withdrew from most of his medication.
    Keith’s story
  • “My body ‘got used’ to what I was taking...”

    Janet’s story
    For a long time she didn't recognise the person she had become but through meditation and working with her GP she was able to become drug free.
    Read Janet’s story
  • Clive's five-year painkiller journey followed, ending with a six-month withdrawal before feeling normal.
    Clive Graham, 71 from Hamsterley, County Durham, had led an active working life but became addicted to painkillers due to arthritis.
    Clive’s story
  • Kate's husband Paul became a totally different person on pain medication.
    Kate’s husband Paul became addicted to codeine after getting injured playing rugby. His dependence on pain medication became so extreme that their family life was torn apart.
    Kate’s story
  • It was only after he retired that Bob Hunter had time to acknowledge his painful back.
    Rather than a retirement he and his wife, Joyce, had planned, he spent nine years virtually asleep.
    Bob’s story
  • 60-year-old Stephen has been suffering from chronic pain for almost 20 years.
    He had no choice but to quit his job as the effects of his pain medication were making it impossible to focus.
    Stephen’s story
  • “I very quickly became dependent... ”

    Tracie’s story
    Tracie, 48, became addicted to codeine after injuring her knee in an accident at a theme park.
    Read Tracie’s story