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Who’s next? Are you?

Who’s next? Are you?

Lorelie Rozzano is a guest blogger for Vertava Health.

Statistics say someone dies from a drug overdose every nineteen minutes. Personally, I think the numbers are higher.  Drug overdoses are becoming such a common occurrence; I believe we’ve become desensitized to them. That is, until you talk with a family member who just lost their loved one.

I am so sorry… It used to be my mantra. Sadly, I find myself saying it again and again. What else can you say to someone who just lost their son, or daughter, spouse or parent, to addiction? How do you tell a child, Mommy or Daddy is never coming home again?

Fact: 19 minutes have passed since I began writing – Someone just died from a drug overdose.

I’m sorry – such meaningless words. I spit them out and then want to take them back. They still taste like ashes in my mouth.

When I was active in my addiction, I finished every sentence with, “I’m sorry.”  It became my go to, response.

Sometimes, I even meant it. I was sorry, kind of. Mostly, I was sorry that you’d caught me, and of course, I was never going to do ‘it’ again.

Fact: 19 minutes have passed – Someone just died from a drug overdose.

But why you might think, would I be sorry now?

There isn’t anything I’m doing today, that I’m personally sorry for. My life is good, incredible even. My family is happy and thriving. I’m successful and living beyond my wildest dreams. I’m content, and at peace. So why am I sorry? Maybe it’s guilt, or more precisely, survivor’s guilt. My fellow brothers and sisters are dying at an alarming rate. I thank my lucky stars that I’m alive today. There’s no good reason, I should be. I was extremely careless with my body and what I was putting into it. I’m sickened that addicts are dying and truthfully, I’m mad as hell. I’ve never seen it this bad. They’re dying by the thousands. And it’s not what you might think. More people die from overdoses of prescription opiates than from all other drugs combined, including heroin and cocaine.

Fact: 19 minutes have passed – Someone just died from a drug overdose.

It doesn’t seem right that something prescribed by your Doctor, can be just as deadly as sticking a needle into your arm. We all know that using a needle, is deadly. At least we know it, until we try it. Then we think we’re bullet proof. But a needle is honest. It looks like what it is, a tool to inject liquid substance into your vein. It’s an intimidating looking apparatus. You know it’s going to hurt, going in.
Pills however, appear innocent. They come in different shapes, and dosages. Some are colored and others have smiley faces stamped onto them. A sore back, dental pain, a headache, menstrual cramps, something hurts, and we pop a pill. Most heroin users today, started with pharmaceutical pain relievers.

Fact: 19 minutes have passed – Someone just died from a drug overdose.

No one ever thinks addiction will happen to them.

Until it does, and then it’s too late. Sorta like the cucumber, once pickled, you can’t go back.

In a way, the addict has it easier. While they might kid themselves into thinking they’re not hurting anyone else, they are.

I wish I could wake them up from dead, so they could get a good look at their parent’s face. Believe me, grief isn’t pretty. Or maybe I could show them a preview of their funeral. With their children curled into the fetal position, bewildered and confused and their spouse surviving somewhere between catatonic and hysterical.

Fact: 19 minutes have passed – Someone just died from a drug overdose.

I wonder if they ever think about it when they’re swallowing, snorting or injecting. Is this it? Am I gonna die?

I know I didn’t. Not until I was lying in bed one night feeling my heart race. Sweat broke out on my forehead and I tried not to panic. I was certain I was having a heart attack. With one eye on the phone and the other on my stash, I wasn’t sure what to do. Call 911, or take another hit. I didn’t want to leave this world with drugs still on the table. After all, I’d paid for them, sorta. Well someone had, probably not me because I didn’t have a job, but still…

Crazy huh? Don’t try to make sense of it, because you never will.

Fact: 19 minutes have passed – Someone just died from a drug overdose.

Addicts are DYING in their pursuit to get high. They leave behind families that will forever feel their loss.
If you’re using, know this. You aren’t just sticking a needle into your arm, or swallowing a pill down your throat. You’re sticking it to your child, parents, spouse and friends too.
You might be numbed out, but you’re killing your family. Chances are your days are numbered. Every single addict who OD’d thought it would never happen to them.  
Death by overdose is such a senseless and tragic way to die. It’s a legacy your family will live with, every single day.

Addiction, it’s the only disease that tells you – you don’t have it.

As I finish this, another 19 minutes have passed and someone just died from a drug overdose.

It leaves me to wonder, who is next. Are you?

God, I hope not.

Need help?
Let’s talk.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call this confidential support line for assistance. 844-470-0410

Best wishes, Lorelie Rozzano.