One day an 18 year old girl went to a family funeral and instead of just going home to her Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights after the funeral she decided to go spend the night with her cousin.  That night her cousin offered her an Oxycontin just one mind you, while she was drinking.  She went to sleep and never woke up.  What she died of was respiratory depression.  She stopped breathing.  Where did they get the Oxycontin? It was for the uncle who had died of cancer.  So maybe it doesn’t happen too often that someone takes just one pill and then dies but accidentally dying after taking painkillers is common. Contacting drug abuse rehabs before it is too late can save a loved ones life.

The stats for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is that one person dies from a drug overdose every 19 minutes.  About 37,000 Americans dies after accidently overdosing on legal or illegal drugs in 2009 and about half of those deaths involved prescription painkillers.  When we take a look at those figures it strikes us that they are significant enough to make prescription drugs the leading cause of accidental death in this country.  With all that in our attention experts are saying prescription drug abuse is now an epidemic.  If you asked any person on the streets what is the leading cause of accidental death they would not guess prescription drugs.  The president and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and manufacturers of America said, “America’s problem with prescription drugs is unacceptable.”  But he insisted the drugs are safe when used as recommended.  “The problem we’re dealing with prescription drug abuse is having to balance those patients (who abuse prescription drugs) and those millions of patients that benefit from these medications because they have a need that they and their physicians have recognized.”

This 18 year old that dies was on the road to recovery after a 2002 diagnosis of thyroid cancer and undergoing three surgeries to fight it.  Her father knows that she did a bit of drinking that night but he is sure that if she had not taken that Oxycontin she would still be alive.  He said “I’ve never tried to make it sound like Emily is innocent.  What I want people to understand about Emily’s tragedy is how easily this can happen, how dangerous these drugs are.”

There are facts out there that state that males in their 40s and 50s who get chronic pain and start off with a prescription for that pain well, they die from an accidental overdose several years later in large numbers.  This worked let’s say popped his back, gets started on pain medication and three years later he is found dead.  That is terrible.  Let’s look at one example: A 28 year old male had nerve pain radiating through his leg and back.  For nine years after that he endured the pain then in 2005 when he was 37 a doctor prescribed hydrocodone to address the pain along with clonazepam an anti-anxiety medication to relive his injury related anxiety.  He got relief but the relief was short lived.  At first they were his lifeline then they became a noose around his neck.  He became addicted to the relief it gave him and to the drug.  After many years of use he went to rehab and then after that fight  he died at 43.  This story repeats itself all over this country.

If you think a loved one is potentially abusing dangerous drugs, visit us for what you can do about it.