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Drug Overdoses Not Only Kill People...

While we often hear about deaths as a result of drug overdose, we don't always hear about the ones who live through it and what happens to them...

A good friend of mine recently overdosed on lethal amounts of Ambien and Xanax. While we suspect this was a suicide attempt, it's not known yet whether he was completely sure that he wanted to kill himself, or if he was simply depressed enough to say "screw it" and ignore the possibility.

Thankfully, he lived. But, he is NOT well...

When most people think of a drug overdose, they think it's simply a matter of painless death, or surviving through it and bouncing right back to normal like some of the dumber celebrities or rock stars out there. Unfortunately, if you do live through a drug overdose, (or any kind of suicide attempt) there's a good chance that you will end up with terrifyingly permanent injuries instead.

Let's refer to my friend as "Jason". A couple weeks ago, Jason probably took enough Ambien and Xanax to kill a horse. He was discovered in the morning, laying on his side and drooling from the mouth. The ambulance was called, and Jason had seizures on the way to the hospital. On arrival, he became conscious...but one thing was suddenly clear: He had lost his hearing.

It was immediately discovered that another serious problem was threatening his life: Kidney Failure. His renal system stopped functioning and his body had become septic.

That night, the doctors gave him a 50% chance of survival and he was on the dialysis machine for life support. This was a scary experience for all, and it was very sad seeing his parents have to go through this.

Jason made it through the night. His hearing improved a little by the next day, and he was conscious - but still on constant dialysis.

As if this wasn't bad enough, another serious problem was realized: He had no feeling in his arm or left side.

We suspect that he may have been asleep on his left side when he took the drugs, or perhaps he suffered a stroke, but I don't know the exact details of that. His hand and his arm was so swollen that they had to perform surgery to relieve the pressure buildup. This
condition is called compartment syndrome. They had to remove a large amount of skin from his arm, and probably performed a variety of other procedures as well.

Jason is still in the hospital, and he will be, for a while. Although we can't predict what will happen, I worry that he may be permanently paralyzed or crippled. There's a good chance that he may be on dialysis machines for the rest of his life; perhaps every day. He is able to speak and hear now, but I suspect that his hearing may be
permanently damaged as well.

While doing some research, I read many horror stories about drug overdoses and suicides that didn't end lives, but ruined lives.

One in particular, was the tragedy of John Paul Getty III, who was only 24 when an alcohol and heroin overdose put him in a coma which resulted in him being speechless, paralyzed, and blind. He recently died, 30 years later, in 2011.

Back to Jason now. It's possible that if he would have known the consequences of a drug overdose or failed suicide attempt, he might have thought twice about popping the pills and taking that risk.

Prescription medication, sleeping pills, and hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, are not something people can just play around with, thinking there's no risk. Even if you put aside all the long term health risks, you could immediately suffer a stroke or a heart attack, which if not lethal, could leave you permanently blind, deaf, disfigured, crippled in a wheelchair, paralyzed, doomed to dialysis, brain damaged, comatose, or vegetable.

Yes, really...ALL of that! Is it really worth the risk?

If you know someone who recklessly abuses medication or dabbles with hard drugs, please forward this to them and maybe they'll think about it some more.

If this article helps even just one person out there, the goal is achieved.

Let's all wish the best for Jason and his family.

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