August 31st (yesterday) was Overdose Awareness Day. Yes, I should’ve written this post yesterday, but I kept writing and deleting; I couldn’t find the right words to express my feelings on this subject. These may not be the “right” ones, but they are the ramblings of a mom who is still at a loss for words.
My daughter did not pass away from a heroin overdose, and it truly wouldn’t matter if she did. She is gone and I am left with a huge hole in my heart that will never be filled. Heroin however did lead to her death and played a major role in our lives for the past 3 years.
Every 13 minutes in this country, someone dies from an overdose. That’s almost 5 people an hour. 120 a day. 43,800 a year. That’s a whole generation being wiped out. These are either genders, any socio-economic status, any age (although teens and 20-somethings seem to be the largest group), any ethnicity, college education to high school drop outs. This drug and it’s deadly toll does NOT discriminate.
Those 120 people are all someone’s son or daughter. They may also be someone’s mother/father, sister/brother, aunt/uncle, cousin….
This is an epidemic in our country and it’s growing larger each month. If this were any other disease other than addiction (yes, I consider it a disease), society, our government (CDC), and the medical community (another post for another time) would be in an uproar wanting to find ways to stop it.
Please do any and everything you can to erase the stigma associated with addiction and overdose. Everyone I have spoken with has battled the disease themselves, is related to someone battling, or knows someone. Nothing will change until we change the way society views addiction and overdoses.
If you know anyone who could be in danger of overdosing, PLEASE buy a Narcan injector and have it with you at all times. It has saved many many lives already. It is very inexpensive, no prescription needed, and can be purchased at local pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens.
I miss my daughter so much there are no words to describe the pain. Drugs and overdoses tear families apart. Please stand up for those affected.