One of the scariest things someone can encounter when it comes to being an addict, or when you know someone who is in active addiction is….overdose, od, “falling out”, whichever way you want to say it. It is scary, it does and it will happen, & you may die. Unfortunately for many of us who have recovered and then we relapse, we usually will use the same amount we were used too, not knowing what the dope is cut with or the potency of it. It is so sad when you hear of someone who was doing so well and staying clean relapses and winds up using a little too much and never comes back. That’s not always the case, a lot of overdoses happen when people are in active addiction.
Accidental drug overdose is the leading cause of injury-related death in adults from 35-54 and the second cause of injury-related death for young people. Drug overdose now out beats deaths associated with firearms, homicides and even HIV/AIDS.
Okay, so how do I know if someone is overdosing?
- Heroin / Opiates / Prescription pills e.g. Oxy, Vicodin
It is possible to overdose with heroin and other opiate drugs whether you are snorting, injecting or taking them in pill form. The risk of overdose increases drastically if combined with alcohol and other “downers.”
• awake, but unable to talk
• body is limp
• shallow or slow breathing
• skin pale / ashen or clammy
• loss of consciousness
If you can’t get a response from someone, don’t assume they are asleep. Not all overdoses happen quickly and sometimes it can take hours for someone to die. Action taken in those hours could save a life. This is a medical emergency: call the ambulance immediately if you can’t rouse them.
• If you have it on hand and know how to, administer naloxone. Note that fentanyl and other synthetic opioids often found in heroin may require more than one administration of naloxone to work. • Even if you’ve administered naloxone, seek medical help.
Is staying clean
Is staying active in recoery
Is helping the next person
Taking it One day At a Time….
I knew who you were, I never liked you, I saw what you did to others. That was until you turned my life around. It was love at first hit & you loved me no matter how ugly you made me look & feel, your good at that. You dont judge and anyone foolish enough to mess with you will have a sidekick for life! You just wont go away, I go sick for you, steal, lie and cheat for you. Your so dirty. You should be ashamed, you steal our souls and take us away from our families. With every hit the love for you is quickly remembered, the tingles, hot body, itching skin then the infamous nod, you make me fall out of reality and some of us may never return. You almost killed me once but I knew it wasn’t the right time, I fought through the blue lips, pale skin & unconsciousness. Some people never return, you take them from their kids, parents, sisters, brothers and cousins. You made me stoop to such a low level, how dare I lie to the people who have never done me wrong. I pawned valuable items I had gifted too me, I stole for you, my soul was owned by heroin. You turn beautiful people into ugly addicts. Some of us will fight you and get the help we need. Some are so stuck they will end up dead or in jail. Im fighting you everyday, even though im not actively using, I am still at war with you! There are everday triggers, urges and opportunities but I will never surrender to you again. You have made me broke, you have ruined my health, and I will overcome this once again.
Please anyone struggling or if you know someone who is, STOP being ashamed to get help or ask!! Before it is too late! You will not regret the little bit of embarresment when you ask for help, it is so much better than making everyone that loves you deal with another death to this monster. Reach out to people. Also, it is not a crime to call 911 when someone is overdosing, don’t be scared to call for medical help, narcan can and will save you if received in time. You will not be charged for the call, (lets face it, usually you are also using. Save a life!!)
Growing up I never wished to be an addict. I never woke up one day thinking “I can’t wait to have my soul taken by this devil.” I was a normal kid, well I like to think of my child hood as somewhat normal. For the people who are uneducated and blind to this disease they have this image in their head as to what a drug addict looks like, how they were raised, how they dress, how they live, where they live. I didn’t grow up in the “projects”, I had two working parents (and no, momma wasn’t a prostitute and daddy wasn’t a dealer.) We weren’t on welfare, I went to a decent school and I did pretty well in school during my adolescent years, believe it or not I was made to go to school, besides those few days a year where daddy let me occasionally miss because of opening day of deer/turkey hunting and he had to be out in the woods by a certain time and he drove me to school so I got to stay home, it was actually a pretty common thing in the state I grew up in, hunting was very popular. So, of course there has to be something that wasn’t necessarily normal. My father was an alcoholic during this whole time, and my parents divorced when I was in about 3rd grade, I lived with my dad after the divorce along with my older brother. My mom wound up immediately moving to another state with her now husband, when at that time I was still a little too young to realize it, but there must have been a little bit of cheating going on somewhere. Someone wasn’t truly happy. These instances still don’t excuse my addiction, but I do so however believe that addiction is heredity and I do think that my fathers addiction to alcohol has something to do with what I am going through. The alcohol did play in huge part in my growing up until I was about 16, he drank heavily for 30+ years, luckily he never hurt anyone while driving, never got a DWI/DUI, unbelievable right!?!?! It wasn’t until one day my dad walked into a church, ironically that morning they were having a men’s Sunday school class and ironically they were talking about alcoholism, he sat down, very afraid of what was to come and from that day forward he NEVER touched a lick of alcohol again, it has now been about 8-9 years, now that is some strong will power to come over an addiction. I wish it was that easy for me, I wish it was that easy for a lot of people out there that need help. Some people are lucky enough, you know what I wouldn’t even really call it lucky, it’s just what works for them, not everything works for everyone. Some people quit cold turkey, some need rehab, some need multiple rehab, there is medicated assistance and the use of counseling, which has seemed to work best for me, there is NA/AA, 12 step programs. And for some people it is TOO LATE, and they either wind up in jail or even worse dead. Through this blog I will write about my addiction, my view on addiction, I will post resources for help and information. If I could help or inspire just one person then I feel accomplished. We need to stop hiding and be OPEN about ADDICTION & THAT IT IS KILLING US ALL WHO SUFFER!!! There is such a bad stigma when it comes to someone being ADDICTED. We need to END THE STIGMA!! You shouldn’t have to avoid seeking help because your scared of what people are going to think.