The Washington Post reports that drug overdoses nationally jumped 18% in March, 29% in April, a staggering 42% in May.
Nationwide, federal and local officials are reporting alarming spikes in drug overdoses – a hidden epidemic within the coronavirus pandemic. Emerging evidence suggests that the continued isolation, economic devastation, and disruptions to the drug trade in recent months are fueling the surge. The American Medical Association recently issued a warning, citing reports from officials in 34 states about the increased spread of such synthetic drugs and rising overdoses….Research has established strong links between stagnating economies and increases in suicides, drug use, and overdoses. In recent years, economists Anne Case and Nobel Prize-winner Angus Deaton have dubbed such increasing fatalities as “deaths of despair.”
‘Cries for help’: Drug overdoses are soaring during the coronavirus pandemic, The Washington Post, William Wan and Heather Long
My reflection: These numbers are terrifying. While our country is embroiled in many difficult issues, addiction help and resources have become even more limited. Addiction, overdoses, and deaths are on the rise, and we must pay attention.
Today’s Promise to consider: This is a call to awareness. The statistics say it all: in the month of May, there was a 42% national increase in overdoses. Today, let us be extra attentive to the condition of our loved ones, to their despair, and to their wellness. Addiction is called the ‘disease of isolation.’ Let us reach out to our loved ones, check in on them, and remind them that they are loved and supported. Let us join voices and form a chorus of strength.
Two weeks ago, one of my worst nightmares occurred. My son , who had been “clean for 3 years “ , with the exception of smoking pot , overdosed in my house. Luckily, his friend went to check on him while they had all been having a bonfire , and found him down. I had Narcan in the house and it thankfully saved his life. I never heard him come back In and never heard him drop on the floor. He would have been dead!
I still cannot get the image of his face, blue and not breathing out of my head.
I had not even considered that he might be using even though I knew he had been under tremendous stress due to a pending court case.
I beat myself up for becoming complacent but I thank God that I had Narcan in my home. Now , all of my family members carry it, even my son.
Relapse can occur with extreme stress. I am working on forgiving myself but I will remain vigilant to the signs of relapse in the future.
Thank you for listening and making others aware.
Dearest Ann, What a nightmare! Thank the Lord you had Narcan in the house. After I read your comment, I was so impressed with your quick response that I wrote to my son and asked him if he thought it would be a good idea for every parent of a person in recovery – and the recovering person himself – to have Narcan in the house or available. He answered, “Wow, what a thing for a mother to confront in her home. Yes, Narcan is a lifesaving tool and I think it’s important to have at the ready for families with loved ones where opiate addiction looms large.” So, please Ann, know that your traumatic experience will help others to be ready, including me.
You are right — relapse can happen at any time, but especially under extreme stress. I will spread the word. Thank you, thank you.
…and God bless you and your son. Thank the Lord your son is alive today.
Thank you Libby,
The truly scary thing is that I did not initially know what occurred and I am a RN! In the moment I was a mom and not a RN, for which I am still trying to reconcile with. My son told me he had taken Xanax for the anxiety , so my first thought was that he might have had a seizure. It was his friend who said it looked like an overdose. The friend later said to me, an addict always goes back to his drug of choice!
I thank God his friend and the Narcan were there.
I truly hope others can be prepared even when they don’t think they need to be.
Much love and prayers to you and all the families dealing with this monster.
Dearest Ann, Your experience is something we all must be prepared to encounter. Yes, an addict always goes back to his drug of choice, but with Fentanyl, now ubiquitously mixed into heroin and other drugs, the scene is more frightening than ever. I thank you for this wake-up call. xoxo
Thank you dear Mother .. thank you for the life you saved … thank you Libby and Ann you are doing Everything in your power with love and thank God for drugs that save instead of kill. You saved your son. Yes Libby Narcan education so essential. xo
Dearest Joy, Ann’s message really opened my eyes as to the need to have Narcan at the ready. I will follow her examples, and I will spread the word. Your message, Joy, just confirmed what I need to do. Love you and thanks. Xoxo