Today I Met Someone Who Overdosed

I met someone today who overdosed on drugs only a few short hours after meeting him. These drugs almost snuffed the life out of this 18-year-old boy who has so much going for him. Fortunately, the boy’s best friend had a Narcan injection to administer. This friend says he has now saved four lives by administering Narcan combined with CPR.

I’ve heard through the grapevine of people overdosing, but never ran with the overdose-crowd. In fact, I don’t think overdosing was a major problem in this small town of mine until heroin and spice started flooding our streets. These two substances have taken the lives of many addicts and completely altered the way I view drugs.

And it’s not just the frequent users who integrate the abuse of heroin or spice into their daily routine who are losing their lives. There are numerous first-time users of heroin and spice who end up in the ICU, or worse, dead. This is not common among most other drugs. Methamphetamine, prescription pills, cocaine, LSD, and just about any other type of classified drug are safer to consume in moderation. With heroin and spice, though, moderation doesn’t apply. There’s a 50/50 chance the addict will live or die.

Even though I’ve had years of experience in the chemical abuse and dependency industries, as well as thousands of hours in research and hundreds of hours in professional education, overdosing is not a topic that I’m familiar with. I’ve never been a fan or supporter of mixing drugs, which is what induced the boy’s overdose tonight.

What can we do?

It’s important for communities and substance abusers alike to set aside time and learn about overdosing. After all, almost everyone knows of at least one person who suffers from the disease of addiction. What would you do if this person came to visit and all of a sudden fell over due to an overdose? Would you be prepared to do what needs to be done? Knowing how to perform CPR and administer Narcan injections are key to overdose survival rates, especially those caused by opiates, heroin, or spice. I myself don’t know anything about either of them, but the Internet and local communities have the resources I need to learn and teach these methods for saving a life, and that’s what I plan to do.

It’s time to be real with ourselves about heroin and spice. It’s time to spread the resources needed to save the lives of those we care about who succumb to the dark paths of substance abuse.