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A potentially deadly cocktail

February 26, 2012
By CATHY BROWNFIELD - Family Recovery Center , Salem News

Addiction is addiction whether you are rich or poor, famous or unknown, male or female, young or old, black, white or green.

It happens intentionally or unintentionally. It can destroy the way a person plans to live his or her life. It can destroy families.

In 2007, drug overdose was the number one cause of death due to injury in the state of Ohio. Prescription drug abuse is a major concern across the nation and across the state.

What is a hero? A hero is a larger than life character who, despite insurmountable odds, manages to overcome the obstacles in his way to achieve his goals.

But for some time in our society, our heroes are more images of celebrity, not the actual person. Fans love their images of their favorite professional athlete, singer, band or actor, whatever icon represents their passion. Images. Not the real person. How difficult is it for anyone to live up to society's expectations for them?

You've heard the phrase, "Only in America." Look at these statistics from Russel Falck, associate director of the Center for Interventions, Treatment and Addictions Center at Wright State University:

-?Americans comprise 4.5 percent of the world's population.

-Americans consume 99 percent of all the hydrocodone.

-Americans consume 81 percent of all oxycodone (OxyContin).

Anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazapines) and opiates (OxyContin and Vicodin) and alcohol are all depressants that affect the central nervous system (i.e., brain and spinal cord). Consumed in excessive amounts in any combination can result in a deadly mix.

The respiratory system (also known as the oxygen delivery system) slows down and the brain goes to sleep.

Other factors that are considered in drug overdose is drug tolerance, how long it has been used, body weight and composition and the metabolic rate of the body.

Under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol judgment is impaired. But worse, death can happen leaving family and friends in shock and grief trying to understand.

The tragedy is that any life is lost through substance abuse, abruptly halting a life that could make a huge difference in the world if they had not become addicted, or had they overcome their addiction.

ODADAS (Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services) has just begun a new campaign, "Don't Get Me Started," to raise public awareness about the widespread problem of prescription drug addiction in our state. For more information about the Don't Get Me Started Campaign visit, which answers questions like, "What's it like watching painkiller abuse take away your best friend?" "What's it like losing a son to painkiller addiction?" "Should an 8-year-old lose her mom to painkiller addiction?"

Family Recovery Center promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs. To learn more, contact us at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, FRC is funded, in part, by ODADAS.



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