Did You Know?

r

An opioid overdose cuts off oxygen to the brain, often causing hypoxic or anoxic brain injury, even if the overdose is reversed with Narcan (Naloxone). 

r

Even if you are revived and your life is saved, every overdose increases your risk of lasting damage to the brain.

r

If you have ever overdosed and now feel “different,” it is possible you have experienced a brain injury, which may result in temporary or permanent cognitive and/or physical impairments.

3

Opioids &
Substance Use Disorder

Opioids & Substance Use Disorder

Did You Know?

r

An opioid overdose cuts off oxygen to the brain, often causing hypoxic or anoxic brain injury, even if the overdose is reversed with Narcan (Naloxone). 

r

Even if you are revived and your life is saved, every overdose increases your risk of lasting damage to the brain.

r

If you have ever overdosed and now feel “different,” it is possible you have experienced a brain injury, which may result in temporary or permanent cognitive and/or physical impairments.

3

About Brain Injury and the Opioid Epidemic

It is no secret that the United States is in the midst of an Opioid Epidemic. In 2017, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Eric D. Hargan declared a public health emergency to address the national opioid crisis. Today, about 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

But how does this relate to brain injury?

People with TBI are more likely to be prescribed opioids than those without. In fact, 70% of people receiving rehabilitation for TBI receive an opioid prescription. A person with a brain injury may be more susceptible to opioid addiction. Once a dependence on the drug has formed, a person with TBI may have more challenges when seeking treatment and recovery.

On the flip side, opioid use or misuse may put a person at a higher risk of acquiring a brain injury. These drugs may make individuals more likely to experience a fall, a vehicle accident, assault or family violence. There is also the possibility that a person using opioids will experience an overdose.

When a person overdoses on opioids, their breathing slows or stops altogether. This deprives the brain of oxygen, which can result in hypoxic (not enough oxygen) or anoxic (no oxygen) brain injury. Even if a person survives the overdose thanks to the overdose-reversal drug Naloxone (Narcan), there still may be lasting effects on the brain. Most people who overdose will do so more than once, and every subsequent overdose means more possible injury to the brain.

Struggling with substance use is hard enough on its own, and it can be even more difficult for someone with a brain injury. If you or someone you love struggles with one or both of these conditions, the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona can offer guidance, resources and support. We are dedicated to raising awareness and working toward prevention of future brain injuries.

If you have any questions about brain injury, substance use, harm reduction or recovery, give us a call to speak with a member of our Resource Facilitation team. You are NOT alone and there IS help.

Call our Statewide Neuro Info-line 1 (888) 500-9165 or email us at info@biaaz.org .

— WATCH —

The Link Between Brain Injury & Opioid Misuse

 

Dr. David Adelson and Miss America Camille Schrier discuss the link between brain injury and opioid misuse. 

Recovery and Family Support Specialist Liz Bradley

BIAAZ’s Recovery and Family Support Specialist Liz Bradley talks about what we are doing to help people who are at risk, struggling with, or recovering from substance misuse.

CALENDAR

NEWS & UPDATES

Identifying and Defeating the Invisible Enemy of Depression

Identifying and Defeating the Invisible Enemy of Depression

…if you feel constant, intense sadness and hopelessness, aren’t really interested in things you once enjoyed, and are consumed with guilt and low self-esteem that never seem to go away, you’re dealing with something different.
This is depression and it’s a serious disorder, but it’s also treatable…

read more
Attempted Suicide can Leave Survivors with Brain Injury

Attempted Suicide can Leave Survivors with Brain Injury

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and as we contemplate the causes and repercussions of suicide and how we can better prevent it, the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona (BIAAZ) would like to shed light on a consequence of attempted suicide not widely known or talked about in family or professional circles.

read more

State Opioid Response Team

Janice Podzimek

Janice Podzimek

Interpersonal Violence Liaison

Janice comes to the BIAAZ with 15+ years of experience in the field of brain injury programs and services. Her previous work with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance (MNBIA) involved the development of fee-for-service presentations and training workshops on Brain Injury Basics, as well as the implementation of a phone-based mentor program, which continues to help brain injury survivors and their families who are struggling to connect with someone who “gets it.” Her training in Trauma Awareness and Resiliency has also allowed her to work extensively with underserved communities such as Native Americans and persons of color through both a brain injury and trauma-informed lens.

Her desire for a warmer climate brought Janice to Arizona, where she decided to put her brain injury background to good use by joining the BIAAZ State Opioid Response team in January of 2020. She looks forward to providing statewide training and education programs for survivors of brain injury, their families, and allied professionals, as well as raising awareness for the Opioid Epidemic as a cause and effect of brain injury.

Luke Fadell

Luke Fadell

Veteran and Family Navigator

Luke is a former Sergeant of the U.S. Army and served in Operation Desert Storm. He is a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans. As part of the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona’s State Opioid Response team, Luke has taken on the role of Veteran and Family Services Navigator. His training includes certification as a Peer Support Specialist, which he utilizes to assist Veterans who have sustained any type of brain injury and are battling substance use disorders to overcome their challenges and continue on towards a fulfilling life. Luke is proud of the amazing progress he has witnessed so far, and looks forward to continuing his work and support of Arizona’s heroes.

Liz Bradley

Liz Bradley

Certified Recovery Support Specialist — Southern Arizona Outreach Coordinator

Liz started at BIAAZ in November 2019 in Phoenix, but soon relocated to Tucson to serve as our Southern Arizona Outreach Coordinator. She is responsible for events and outreach all across the lower part of the state.

The nonprofit sector is a brand new journey for Liz, but she is already finding great purpose and fulfillment in working to support survivors of brain injury and their families. Since joining us, she has completed courses in TBI, Person Centered Planning, Opioid Overdose Response, Human Subject Research and Motivational Interviewing. Liz is also a member of our new State Opioid Response Team, tasked with shining a light on the connections between brain injury and the opioid epidemic. Liz is passionate about helping brain injury survivors who struggle with addiction, and hopes to raise awareness about the dangers of brain injury due to opioid overdose.

D

Home

D

who we are

D

what we do

D

who we help

D

how to get help

D

you can help

D

the noggin

D

give

D

privacy policy

D

terms & conditions

Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona

5025 E. Washington St, Ste 108
Phoenix, Arizona 85034

CALL

(602) 508-8024

Statewide Info-line
1 (888) 500-9165

Fax (602) 508-8285

BIAAZ is a chartered affiliate of the
United States Brain Injury Alliance.

usbia.org

FOLLOW US
BUTTERS FUND

Sign-up for news, events and resources

I am a (check all that apply)

Thank you! You've been successfully subscribed!