Daddy, What’s an Opioid Overdose?

Daddy, what’s an opioid overdose? Sweetie, that’s another great question that we’ve never really talked about. Like many of the other great question you have, I don’t have a perfect answer and if you ask other people, they may disagree with me. If my answer doesn’t make sense or we feel we need more information, I will find someone else who can help us.

Opioids can be used as medicine to help you feel better if you have a lot of pain. Drs. can give people prescriptions for opioids. They’re kinda like Tylenol, but much much more powerful…so powerful that once people begin to take them, sometimes their body won’t feel better unless they continue to take them, even after the pain is gone. They feel really sick without the medicine. When a person needs to keep taking medicine…another name for medicine is drugs…If they keep taking the drug because their body needs it that is called an addiction (a conversation for the future, maybe tomorrow). Drugs like opioids can be very toxic (past conversations). If a person takes too much it can kill them.

There are different types of opioids, some are much more toxic than others. An opioid called heroin is very, very toxic, but, to the best of my understanding, when people can’t get the medicine their Dr. gave them, or their body needs more then they find other drugs that Drs. cannot prescribe…Heroin is very addictive and very toxic opioid. When the body needs drugs that toxic, IIIIIIII believe it becomes a disease…a disease that is very, very hard to cure. Like other diseases, if a person can’t be cured soon enough, they can take too much and overdose. If a person overdoses, they can die. Lots of people in Colorado and other places are dying from overdoses. That’s why people are talking about it a lot in the news.

Silence…so, how do people get cured?

There isn’t one cure that works for every person who has the disease. Some people think that people with opioid addiction can go and live in a hospital for a month or two and Drs., social workers and teachers try to teach them to stop taking the drug. For some people who are addicted that may work, but they still have the disease. In Denver, Drs. are opening a clinic where people who have an opioid addiction can go to take their drug. If they overdose, there are Drs. and nurses there to save them. That works for some. To be honest, I think the best solution is to stay away from opioids, but that is easy for me and others to think because we don’t have severe pain or an addiction. It’s complicated and just like everything else, an addiction to opioids is not part of my identity so I can’t truly understand. All I can do is listen to other peoples experiences and learn.

Of course, it went on a little longer, but that was the heart of our conversation this morning. #OurKidsAreListening and #ImTrying