It was a heartrending sight to watch two toddlers wander naked on the streets of a South Side neighborhood in Youngstown last week. What was more appalling was to discover that their mother had just succumbed to a suspected drug overdose.
A school bus driver passing by that area called the police when he saw the children loitering around without any clothes on. A little later, a neighbor discovered the children’s 36-year-old mother slumped inside a closet of the home in the 200 block of East Avondale Avenue and called the police.
According to the report, just before the police arrived, a neighbor had taken the kids to her house. The police believe that a drug overdose might have been the cause of her death, although the coroner’s office has not yet confirmed it. The police did not divulge the name of the deceased because they are yet to trace her family. Her husband who reached after a while appeared visibly perturbed and rushed towards an ambulance where the kids were sitting and wailing.
This is not an isolated case where parents die due to a drug overdose, leaving behind young children and family to fend for themselves. Thousands of people perish every day because of addiction and overdose. People witness such gruesome stories on a daily basis, yet the scourge of addiction does not seem to die down.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, killed more than 33,000 Americans in 2015, a record for any single year. Almost half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.
However, overdose deaths could stem from any substance and are not limited to prescription opioids. Even chronic alcoholism kills millions across the globe. The irony is drug overdose deaths and opioid-induced deaths continue to rise in the United States, says the CDC. It does not discriminate as drug overdose deaths are seen in men, women, adults of all ages and races.
More than 60 percent of drug overdose deaths are due to opioids, states the CDC. People in the U.S. extensively use opioids, pushing the country to the brink of a collapse. Opioids affect the nervous system or specific receptors in the brain, reducing the intensity of the pain in an individual. Overdose deaths involving opioids in the U.S. have more than quadrupled since 1999. In 2014, overdoses killed more than 28,000 people in the U.S. and over 50 percent of them involved a prescription opioid.
Dealing with an overdose is not easy, and first responders have a great role to play in averting a fatality. Treatment options are easily accessible, it is just that individuals need to accept the problem and seek proper intervention. An increased supply of naloxone, an opioid antidote, is playing a big role in managing drug overdoses. Raising the awareness among people, whether it is the users or their family and friends, is paramount. People need to understand that addiction is not a flaw in the character but a disease that needs medication just like any other physical ailment.
Addiction is harmful and can ruin lives but it is also treatable with timely intervention. Hence, if you have a loved one abusing any substance, seek immediate help. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online for a prompt response and find the best drug rehab centers in your vicinity. People should not delay treatment or things can get out of hand.