A mother of four sons lost two of them to the opioid menace when they inadvertently overdosed on hydrocodone and alcohol passed on to them by other teenagers at a graduation party. The day was June 14, 2015, when the Indiana mother, Becky Savage, found that her sons Nick Savage and Jack Savage had succumbed to prescription drug and alcohol abuse. Since then, Becky has been highlighting the risks associated with opioid abuse on public platforms and to anyone willing to lend his/her ears. In 2017, the Savage family started the 525 foundation, named after the hockey numbers of their two departed sons, to educate people about the menace of drug abuse and save another family from a similar ordeal.
Though Becky recalled constantly telling her kids to refrain from drugs, she did not caution them against prescription drugs, she said. “It was simply because it was something that wasn’t on the radar,” she said.
It was a Sunday morning when both the brothers had arrived home late after their graduation parties. When Savage tried to wake up her younger son, she noticed that he was unresponsive. Being a nurse herself, she checked his pulse and made frantic attempts to revive him using CPR.
On arrival, one of the first responders also tried to save him, but was unable to. Nick, the elder of the two brothers, had slept downstairs the night before with a few of his friends. The paramedics also found him unresponsive only to confirm his death a few moments later.
Becky recalled the ill-fated day barely holding back her tears. She had no recollection of what happened after that. “Everything just kind of seemed like a blur that day,” she said.
Essential to seek timely intervention for drug addiction
The Savages, through their foundation, partner with local law enforcement agencies to ensure that unused prescription drugs are disposed of in a safe manner. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2015 alone, more than 52,000 people, encompassing all age groups, succumbed to drug overdose. The situation was no different in 2016 as the number of deaths due to drug overdose exceeded 63,600.
Year after year, thousands of Americans lose their lives to opioid overdose. Opioid addiction is treatable with the right combination of medications, therapies and counselling. If you or a loved one is fighting an addiction, it is imperative to seek proper medical assistance from an alcohol and drug rehab center at the earliest.
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