“Mike” had experimented with drugs in college, but as a middle-aged man with a good job and a family to provide for, he had put his “party days” behind him. He was far more likely to have a few beers or a drink occasionally than risk his family with illegal behaviors. His knee was starting to trouble him a lot. His doctor prescribed him something for the pain. However, he did not need them for long. Tossing them in the medicine cabinet, he did not give them much thought. Work had been stressful as he was trying to get a promotion. He saw a counselor that prescribed him some anti-anxiety medication earlier that month. The day he waited for finally arrived. He went to the football game with his friends; they had several beers and stopped for dinner and drinks at his favorite restaurant. He had gotten the promotion! His wife arranged for his friends to drive him to meet her, so they toasted to Mike’s big day. On his way out he turned to wave to an old fraternity brother coming up the stairs, he twisted his knee again. Limping to the bathroom when he got home, he took some of his own medicine. Mike accidentally overdosed that night. It was no longer a day of celebration. No one saw this coming.
More adult men die of accidental overdose than any other population, according to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention. This is true in Indiana as well. The top 10 drugs prescribed in the state of Indiana last year were pain related per the 2012 annual INSPECT report.
Misuse and abuse is not simply limited to painkillers, however. It comes in many forms. True addiction often finds different types of medications used in dangerous combinations.
“The Marion County Coroner’s office would like to remind everyone that improperly taking prescription medicines as prescribed by a doctor can lead to impaired behavior and can be dangerous and harmful. Additionally, taking more than prescribed or taking medicines that do not belong to you can be fatal. Addiction, abuse and overdose are common results of incorrect use of prescription drugs”
– Marion County Chief Deputy Coroner Alfarena Ballew
Within Marion County, Indiana during 2012, 48% of Male deaths involved Prescriptions.
Men may be more likely to use prescription drugs with alcohol, which can have life-threatening results. Prescription drug abuse can also potentially lead to use of street drugs, such as heroin. Inhibitions may lower with each substance, levels and combinations of substances react differently, and what was consequence free in one instance may not be in another.
There are many people in need of treatment. Is it time for you or a loved one to Get Help NOW? If so, our page of resources will help you make that step.