The Aftermath of Your Opioid Overdose
What happens when an addict overdoses? The addicts inject heroin into their bloodstream, most not thinking twice about an overdose but only of the high they’re about to experience. Overdose occurs when a person’s metabolism cannot detoxify the drug fast enough to avoid unintended side effects. Unintended side effects like shallow breathing, unconsciousness, death. Unfortunately, this tragedy is a reality for many Americans, one in seven are affected by opioid addiction. The addict doesn’t feel much, their unconscious, struggling to breath but unaware of their last breaths. The person who is most traumatized is the witness… if there is one. If the addict is lucky enough to have someone who cares enough to check on them when they’re not responding to texts or calls. Realistically though, there will be times the addict’s parents force themselves to finally sleep or their wives/ husbands are busy trying to focus at work.
The loved one is very conscious unlike their loved one on the ground, or in a bathroom stall, or in bed. The loved one turns white from crippling fear while the addict is blue from lack of oxygen.
When you, the addict, overdoses… you won’t remember much. The last thing you’ll probably remember is sticking a needle in your body. But your loved ones, they will be haunted by the scene you leave far after you are gone. You may die in a public place and a stranger might find you, a manager at a store. You may die at home where your mother will find you, blue, purple, lifeless. As your blood pressure lowers theirs will rise and as you take their last breath they will scream.
911 will be called
The operator answers “911 what is your emergency”?
“My son is dying, he’s overdoses please help me” your mom will cry.
Operator: “Calm down, I need to get some information, what is the address”
Mom will become ultra-focused. She will start rattling off information to the 911 operator, while consistently asking, “are they close, are the paramedics almost here?”
They’ll try to walk her through CPR or may have her turn you on your side. She will experience physical strength, the kind she never knew she had.
Operator: “Ma’am, I’m going to need you to check to see if there is a pulse” she’s shaking so badly that she can’t tell.
“ARE THE PARAMEDICS CLOSE, PLEASE HURRY!!!!” She’ll scream.
If your family is lucky you’ll make a gargling sound…this sound will haunt them for years to come. You’re trying to breath, but you can’t. Sometimes you’ll die from choking on your own vomit.
It will seem like eternity before the paramedics arrive at the scene. They will cut your clothes off, shock you, start administering Narcan. Your loved ones will be in another room, or outside not knowing if they will ever see you again. Terrified. Crying. They love you so much.
A police officer will come out, your family will rush towards him in hopes of good news. He will tell them that … you didn’t make it.
You’ll be taken out on a gurney, in a body bag and placed in the ambulance, headed to the morgue.
If you die somewhere like a public bathroom, a police officer will go to your parents’ house. They will ride with the officer to the morgue. They need to identify your body.
The coroner will do a toxicology screening. If you’re an organ donor they will remove your organs to give someone else life, or just stuff them back in you because the drugs have done too much damage to your body.
That first week after your death will be a whirlwind for your parents. They’ll need to notify the rest of your family, friends. Hopefully your parents are the ones who are notified first because they don’t deserve to find out through Facebook… that their child is dead.
Funerals are expensive, but I’m sure no dollar will be spared from your grieving parents. That is, if they still have anything left. Years of paying for rehabs, cars, lawyers and other costs associated with your addiction will certainly drain a bank account.
Oh, Your Funeral
Your parents will have to pay for your burial plot or a burial vault, one nearby that they can visit often. They’ll pay for the opening and closing of your grave, burying their child’s body eight feet in the dirt. It’s apparent that its only your body, your soul vanished a long time ago. What should the headstone say? What clothes should you be laid to rest in? Your mom will have to arrange for your body to be transferred from the coroner’s office to the funeral home.
Your parents and close loved ones will be dressed in black. They’ll stand in the front by your casket or urn. People they don’t know will come up to them and say, “sorry for your loss”. They’ll thank them for coming, choking back tears. Pictures of you will line the walls and the entrance. When those pictures are looked at, there will be more crying, sobbing, anger. You’re not suffering anymore but the people who love you will for a long time. Some will wish they were with you. Your parents will need to decide what your obituary should say; should they acknowledge that you lost your battle with addiction or simply say that you died quietly at home, what a mess. Your casket will be carried, maybe by your siblings or your closest friends. If no one can afford to bury you, your ashes will be divvied up between the people you loved and who adored you.
I know that you don’t think this will happen to you, neither do the other 60,000 people a year. People loved you. They begged you to stop. You were offered help…but now your gone. Your mom might leave your room intact, like a shrine. Your girlfriend will wear your hoodies and never want to wash them. If you have a child, everyone will tell them how great you were, but also how you were sick. When their old enough they can know the truth… but for now…you were great, but sick.