Heroin Overdose: The Emptiest Feeling Ever
By Ned Wicker
It was one of those horrible days. You see it on television, or read about it in the newspaper, wishing and hoping it never happens to you. Yet, Carla knew that the possibility of tragedy was looming over her son’s head.
She saw the day coming and tried to talk with her son, to reason with him, to educate both of them on the dangers of substance abuse, to counsel him on matters of the heart, to listen, but it was like an out of control train.
Nothing was going to stop her 24-year-old son Kenny from doing what he wanted to do. He did things his own way, with no regard for what tomorrow might bring.
Kenny was found early that morning outside the apartment building where he was doing drugs with an acquaintance. The EMT said he was down for about an hour when they found him on the sidewalk, wearing only his underwear.
He had bruising on his face and side, perhaps sustained in the fall, but also the kind of bruising consistent with a beating. The EMT’s and emergency room staff tried in vain to bring him back.
The police were there, working with the medical examiner, making sure the body was photographed and that any shred of evidence was properly secured. It was likely a heroin overdose and they suspected foul play and the investigation was starting.
Carla sat in a chair, holding her son’s hand. She knew she had to face all of the questioning from the doctors and authorities, so she composed herself long enough to prepare for the necessary interrogation. Her friend, Janice, stayed with the young man while she met with the group.
“He was her wild one,” said Janice. “He has an older brother, who was never into drugs and he is doing well in life, but this one never got it together. He was always going in the wrong direction and nothing Carla and her husband did made any difference. He got everything, you know, counseling and treatment and Carla knew what he needed.
Knew This Day Was Coming
She worried about this day. This isn’t a surprise really, it was bound to happen sometime. He was a nice kid, but he never listened to anybody, not his parents, not his older brother, not the priest, anybody. I’ve known him all his life and I don’t even recognize him. When they brought him in he looked so different. It’s like he was somebody else’s.”
Carla is a healthcare professional and works with city government. She is familiar with all of the anti-drug programs, but more importantly she had talked to her kids about the dangers of drugs and heroin overdose. It was not out of ignorance, or lack of awareness that this day came to pass. By most standards, she did everything right as a parent.
Of course, she will blame herself for not doing more. Addiction, however, doesn’t care about effort and loving counsel.
“Carla tried. I can’t begin to imagine her pain right now,” Janice continued. “They got him into treatment a couple of times, but it never lasted. He would always go right back to what he was doing.
He started using drugs in high school, about seven years ago I think. Kids can get anything they want. He smoked marijuana at first, but then he got addicted to heroin. He went into rehab when he was still in high school.
Carla was shocked at first, but there’s heroin in the high school every day and heroin overdose is a common occurrence. That’s the way it is now. She and her husband had tried everything. But it’s like the heroin turned him into an animal.
Just The "Little" Guys
He cursed at her and stayed away for months at a time. I think the police had already arrested somebody in connection with Kenny’s death. They never get the real big people, just the little guys.”
It was a dreadful day for the doctors and nurses in the emergency room. They worked with Carla. Everybody knew her and knew Kenny. It was difficult for the nurses to go about their business, but the evidence was gathered, all of the paperwork and administrative detail was completed.
They did their job.
By the next day, the entire hospital staff knew what had happened and the place had such a sad feeling about it, on every unit
Sobbing over a dead child is the worse nightmare for a parent, and there will always be that lingering note of “I should have done, or could have done…” But even if parents are on top of the situation, have help and support from friends and professionals, and even if they constantly try to monitor their children, sometimes it isn’t enough.
But parents have to fight to save their children. For Carla, that fight will never end, as the memories of her addicted son will likely torment her for years to come.
Heroin Overdose is very common because with a street drug exact dosage is difficult to determine. Also, many try to quit and when they use again their body can tolerate much less then it could the last time they used.
Heroin Overdose is characterized by respiratory failure and if treatment is given the person can be saved.
Heroin Overdose is on the rise because people start using prescription medications and switch to heroin when they run out of money. Heroin is MUCH cheaper then Oxycotton but much more DANGEROUS.
Heroin Overdose can kill young people and causes much torment for those left behind. Guilt makes them believe they should have seen it coming and done something to help.
Avoiding a Heroin Overdose has got to be the goal of an intervention. If you know your loved one is using heroin it is CRITICAL to get them to stop ASAP to avoid a very bad outcome.
Heroin Overdose can occur after someone has been in rehab and gets back out on the street. If your loved one has recently left drug treatment for heroin, use extra efforts to stop them from using to avoid overdose.
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Step 3 may be the most difficult and important of the steps in the program, what is it and why is it needed, this week on Recovery Now!