Opioid addiction is a dangerous and deadly disease, particularly when it comes to some of the new types of drugs of abuse such as Fentanyl. When most people fall victim to substance abuse, they may believe that they are only harming themselves. This is far from the truth. The actions of an addict can be far-reaching. In one Pennsylvania case, they were deadly for the family member of an opioid addict.
Tragic Case Illustrate the Extreme Danger of Opioids
Ronald Plummer, 45, of Portage, Pennsylvania was rushed to the hospital on November 5th due to a suspected drug overdose. He was found unresponsive on the floor of his mother’s bathroom, surrounded by drug paraphernalia. When Plummer’s mother, 69-year old Theresa Plummer, came home from the hospital, she began to clean up the mess left in the bathroom after the harrowing incident.
Soon, Theresa suffered from shortness of breath and had to go to the hospital herself. Theresa Plummer died on November 6th, and the coroner believes that the likely cause was contact with the dangerous drugs that she touched while cleaning up her son’s drug paraphernalia. The substances were so strong that skin contact alone was enough to cause a violent reaction and overdose death.
Ronald died the next day from the effects of his overdose. While the final coroner’s reports and cause of death for both will not be ready for over a month, health officials are warning families and first responders to use extreme caution around overdose victims and their drugs. Drugs such as fentanyl and heroin are now so powerful that they can enter a person’s system through the skin, inhalation, or accidental ingestion, causing overdose and death.
The Dangers and Risks Associated With Opioid Addiction
Overdose deaths from opioids have continued to increase over the past decade. According to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there was a 2.8-fold increase in the number of opioid-related deaths between 2002 and 2015 and deaths involving heroin during that same period were up 6.2-fold. The New York Times reports that drug overdose deaths linked to Fentanyl are up a staggering 540 percent in just the past three years to 20,100 in 2016.
Whether from the non-medical use of prescription opioids or the abuse of drugs like heroin, opioid addiction is powerful and can have deadly consequences. Even though states are implementing programs to educate the public and prevent the over-prescribing of certain drugs, addiction still exists. When a person has a substance abuse problem, it impacts every area of his or her life, with family, financial, emotional, and often legal consequences. The good news is that there is a way out.
Get Help For an Opioid-Related Substance Abuse Problem
The most effective way to break free from the chains of an opioid use disorder is by agreeing to participate in an evidence-based substance abuse treatment program. The Recovery Village offers medication-assisted treatment that begins with detox and transitions into a comprehensive treatment program designed for each individual client. Not only are clients provided with caring and compassionate therapy but they are also given tools to avoid relapse and build a solid recovery network. Contact us now to speak with one of our addiction specialists about admissions and find out how you can break free from the chains of addiction.