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Drug OD case: Airline pilot and wife
Old 03-18-2017, 12:01 PM   #1
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Drug OD case: Airline pilot and wife

This is a local story near me, sad on so many levels. The four young children of a couple found their parents dead on the floor of their bedroom Thursday. Investigators say it was likely a heroin-fentanyl overdose like so many others.

The husband was a pilot for Spirit airlines, flew passengers just a few days before. Obviously no previous history of abuse of illegal drugs. His wife of several years had a history of drug use, her previous husband had died of an OD about 10 years ago.

I do understand the grip that these drugs get on people--the brain effectively becomes re-wired over time so that in many ways they are not the people they previously were. And there are indications that they can, physiologically and psychologically, never be those people again.

What I cannot understand is why anyone would start. Okay, people have momentary lapses in judgement, but a guy with kids, who is clean, who has experienced the ravages that drug abuse has caused his wife and their family. What causes him to think "yep, sticking this needle in my arm is a great idea" or "snorting this line of unknown substance is not gonna hook me!"
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:07 PM   #2
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Maybe they think, "I won't get addicted from trying it once" , and then each time it becomes easier to take.....

btw: some folks do become addicted from 1 dose.
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:22 PM   #3
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How sad.
The opioid epidemic knows no boundaries. It's indiscriminate taking people from all backgrounds, education, parents, children.

A fellow who was my instructor for a class and later a co-worker just posted(FB) a reminder of his 30 year old sons death from OD. I think it was 4 years ago, DF still is grieving, he's having a very hard time accepting it.

Your can't understand addiction with common sense, there's no logical thinking involved. If you ask any addict about why they think they can beat the odds you'll get a dose of denial.
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:25 PM   #4
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I guess it's the same instinct that causes most people to try their first sip of alcohol or that first puff of a cigarette. A desire to see what it's all about, to be hip like their friends, peer pressure, etc. Couple this very normal human behavior with someone who has trouble with impulse control and is predisposed to addiction, and bam... there you go.

To me, the initial trying of a substance is easy to understand, but I'm a lot more puzzled by how someone could get so thoroughly addicted that they basically lose the ability to think even remotely logically or rationally. Someone like Prince, or Phillip Seymour Hoffman, both of whom OD'd on extremely dangerous, powerful opioids. These people had everything to lose and yet they blithely played Russian roulette over and over again, to the point where you'd have to assume they knew they were going to lose but didn't care enough to pull back. I've never tried any sort of opioid (other than some oxycodone to help with post-surgical pain), so I can't speak directly about the effects, but I just can't imagine myself being so willing to risk death in return for a few hours of euphoria.
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:37 PM   #5
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. . . I'm a lot more puzzled by how someone could get so thoroughly addicted that they basically lose the ability to think even remotely logically or rationally. Someone like Prince, or Phillip Seymour Hoffman, both of whom OD'd on extremely dangerous, powerful opioids. These people had everything to lose and yet they blithely played Russian roulette over and over again, to the point where you'd have to assume they knew they were going to lose but didn't care enough to pull back.
Once the physical addiction occurs (and it can be very quick), there's not much rational about the behavior from that point on. With opiods and many other drugs, the brain's reward and pain neurochemistry is so altered that the addict eventually can think of little else other than getting the next dose. There's no decisionmaking about possible alternatives, etc. There's also good research that shows even the best nd most intensive treatment programs can't turn this around in less than about 180 days of therapy/pharmaceutical help. A 30-60 day rehab program is a cruel joke.
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:38 PM   #6
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I do imagine the euphoria is really strong/wonderful/amazing so I can see that would lead someone to try it again (since they are "not addicted") . and again . and again....

My Dad worked as a guidance counsellor, so as a teen I got lots of exposure to the drug info. I just didn't seem worth it, since alcohol was available, and so were smokes.

skydiving is an accepted way to get quite a rush, and pretty deadly from my limited knowledge, so there is an example of risking death for something that can easily be avoided without limiting life.
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:53 PM   #7
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Addiction is a terrible, awful thing that has no easy explanation and so often ends with unbearable sadness and tragedy, as is the case here. My heart goes out to the poor children.
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:10 PM   #8
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I have unfortunately had to use legal opioids for pain management. Due to my prior PCP'S total incompetence I was on higher doses of Oxycodone for several months. A cervical epidural fixed extreme pain. I hated the Oxy, so I just quit taking it, for a while. Then I learned about withdrawal. Pain management doc told me how much to cut down and I was glad to be off of it.

Oxycodone, hydrocodone, IV morphine I never understood the draw.

Last year I was in incredible pain and the ER gave me IV dilaudid. That was a totally euphoric experience I've never had anything like that feeling. I may have still been in pain, but I didn't care. Somewhere I recall reading that medication is the closest thing to legal heroin, I have no idea if that's true, but it sure is powerful.
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:15 PM   #9
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My BIL died young from an OD. My middle son was a meth user for years. He would quit and then use again. I was so worried. Now he has been clean for almost a year, has a job, apartment and is going to meetings all the time, etc. He is turning 40 and for the first time in decades I actually have hope that he has turned his life around.
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:55 PM   #10
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My mom had a neighbor who had all 4 kids died of OD. This was not recently, maybe 30 years ago. Not only that they got their cousins to be involved too. Recently I've heard one of the nephews got involved with drugs through friends in fraternity. Not sure if it's opioids or just pain killer. I now think it's epidemic. I was very surprised about this kid. He lost all his self esteem and doesn't want to do anything.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:06 PM   #11
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My daughter had DHR come down on her last July for child neglect, and they popped a drug test on her--which she failed. She has been very slow to go to her parenting classes and missed a drug screen or two with excuses given.

Late yesterday, she appeared in Family Court trying to get her 5 year old daughter back. The judge read her the riot act and sent her downstairs for a second drug test of the week--which she tested positive for meth and amphetamines.

My wife and I are facing another 9 mos. to a year of taking care of an active 5 year old--or sending her to foster care. The judge ordered us to remove the daughter's car and have her cellphone disconnected. She's to have no contact with her 2 kids, and she's to enroll in institutional drug treatment.

Trouble is heavy drugs are illegal, very highly addictive and downright wrong. And those taking them are in complete denial--living a life that's a total lie. She appears to be trying to go underground to avoid going away for a month or so.

My wife's in hysterics--like it's something we did wrong. Our consciences are clear. It's our daughter's choice to do what's right, and it doesn't matter what we want for her in life. All we can do is take care of the child and take every day as it comes. If the daughter has to hit rock bottom, it's her choice. The judge will be issuing a bench warrant for her arrest for contempt we assume.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:11 PM   #12
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Sorry to read this, Bamaman. Your DW knows intellectually you and she did nothing wrong, but it is such heartache when your kids have any problems, no matter how small, and this one is huge and affects three generations. Are there other grandparents who can give you some respite with the five-year-old?
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:20 PM   #13
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Last year I was in incredible pain and the ER gave me IV dilaudid. That was a totally euphoric experience I've never had anything like that feeling.
Last year I was on dilaudid for about a day and a half for a psuedoaneurysm, a new experience in pain. I don't remember a euphoria with the first shot but the first thing I said to the nurse was "Can I take some of that home?". I was just happy to be out of the pain.

The nurse said it is about eight times stronger than morphine. It was a great place to visit while I was in pain but I wouldn't want to live there. DW said I was talking nonsense sentences and I do remember talking to some Roman soldiers.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:24 PM   #14
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I was at a funeral for a 30 year old heroin OD case yesterday. It really is an epidemic.

Also, recently heard about "Lazarus Parties". That's where one member of a group agrees to obstain so he/she can administer Narcan to someone else at the party that might overdose. Narcan is an opiod OD antidote increasingly carried by first responders. Also, heard a story about a kid who was revived by Narcan in the AM and was back using heroin in the PM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:37 PM   #15
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Trouble is heavy drugs are illegal, very highly addictive and downright wrong.
and very widely available. That's the key IMHO.

Very sorry you have to deal with this. Stay strong.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:51 PM   #16
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... Due to my prior PCP'S total incompetence I was on higher doses of Oxycodone for several months. A cervical epidural fixed extreme pain.

...Last year I was in incredible pain and the ER gave me IV dilaudid. That was a totally euphoric experience I've never had anything like that feeling. I may have still been in pain, but I didn't care. Somewhere I recall reading that medication is the closest thing to legal heroin, I have no idea if that's true, but it sure is powerful.
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Last year I was on dilaudid for about a day and a half for a psuedoaneurysm, a new experience in pain. I don't remember a euphoria with the first shot but the first thing I said to the nurse was "Can I take some of that home?". I was just happy to be out of the pain.

The nurse said it is about eight times stronger than morphine. It was a great place to visit while I was in pain but I wouldn't want to live there. DW said I was talking nonsense sentences and I do remember talking to some Roman soldiers.
People's responses to drugs vary greatly. Dilaudid was what I was on for the first 24 or 36 hours after I came out of the operation room. Other than dulling the pain, it had no other effects on me, the same as Oxycodone when they switched out Dilaudid. I did not feel anything different between the 2 drugs. Never talked funny or felt euphoria.

I was given Oxycodone on prescription to continue at home. I was afraid of addiction, so only took 1/2 the dosage. At one point, I said to myself I did not need this drug, and stopped too early. And that was when I felt the pain without it.

I still have quite a bit of Oxycodone left.

PS. It was on the hospital bed, while on Dilaudid, that I surfed the Web researching the addictive effects of Dilaudid and Oxycodone using my laptop. I heard about this before, but did not bother to look into it till then.
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Old 03-18-2017, 03:18 PM   #17
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People's responses to drugs vary greatly. Dilaudid was what I was on for the first 24 or 36 hours after I came out of the operation room. Other than dulling the pain, it had no other effects on me, the same as Oxycodone when they switched out Dilaudid. I did not feel anything different between the 2 drugs. Never talked funny or felt euphoria.

I was given Oxycodone on prescription to continue at home. I was afraid of addiction, so only took 1/2 the dosage. At one point, I said to myself I did not need this drug, and stopped too early. And that was when I felt the pain without it.

I still have quite a bit of Oxycodone left.

PS. It was on the hospital bed, while on Dilaudid, that I surfed the Web researching the addictive effects of Dilaudid and Oxycodone using my laptop. I heard about this before, but did not bother to look into it till then.
Could be the dosage? You were longer term and they understood your pain.

I was in an ER situation only for pain. I'd been given two Oxy a while earlier and they did absolutely nothing, nurse even said I could chew them. I was getting pretty vocal about exactly how bad it was. When asked about 1-10 I didn't even answer, turned around and asked what they would say with the graphic symptoms I had.

I believe he was of the opinion I probably was going to emergency surgery, or they'd manage the pain and send me home with Oxy. The latter happened after they ruled out testicular torsion.
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Old 03-18-2017, 03:27 PM   #18
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Could be the dosage? You were longer term and they understood your pain...
It could be, although my surgery was a major one. I did not write down the dosage for reference later on.

The surgeon was trying laparoscopic method, and when he got a complication, he had to cut me open to go in. So I woke up with laparoscopic surgery holes along with a surgical cut 8" long.

Waking up, I thought to myself, hey, I was not supposed to be cut open like this, with staples all along the cut like railroad tracks. This is no laparoscopic!

PS. My wife who waited outside the OR said the surgeon told her when he emerged "Could not be better".

I guess he meant other than the extra pain I had to endure during recovery.
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Old 03-18-2017, 04:01 PM   #19
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What I cannot understand is why anyone would start. [..] What causes him to think "yep, sticking this needle in my arm is a great idea" or "snorting this line of unknown substance is not gonna hook me!"
One big recurring theme: healthcare costs

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Pharmacist here, a lot of people get their introduction from prescription opioids. At some point the cost of the medication becomes prohibitive and heroin offers a better potency to value ratio.
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/c...ou_try_heroin/
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Old 03-18-2017, 04:10 PM   #20
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...testicular torsion.

I needed some morphine just from reading that...
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