A mother of four opened up about the day that changed her life forever, when her two sons overdosed on opioids and lost their lives on the same day.
According to Rebecca Savage, June 24, 2015, seemed like any other Saturday, with nothing out of the ordinary—-at least at first. Her two oldest children, Nick, 19, and Jack, 18, were home safe after a graduation party the night before. Jack had recently graduated from Penn High School in Mishawaka.
Daily Mail reports that Savage said she went to wake up Jack first, who was still asleep in his bedroom. As she tried wake him, she noticed he was not moving or responding. She immediately called 911. Medical experts responded to the scene, and while a nurse instructor gave CPR to the teen, a friend of Nick’s was down in the basement calling 911 at the same time, after he found Nick was unresponsive as well.
“I remember one of them heading down to the basement,” Savage said, remembering the traumatic day when she lost two sons.
Both teens tried oxycodone at the party the previous night, and sadly, both overdosed.
Two years later, Savage said she is still in shock and has days where she is still in disbelief.
“You really are still in shock – a constant state of shock and denial. It never crossed our mind that they would even consider taking a prescription drug. It can happen to anybody. There is no stereotype for people touched by this epidemic. There are dangers that are out there whether or not we want to believe it.”
Statistics indicate that Savage is absolutely correct about the dangers of opioids, and not just for teens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that “the United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic.”
CDC statistics show that in 2015 alone, the year the brothers passed away, drug overdoses among teens increased for the first time since 2007. However, overall drug-related deaths were the highest among people aged 25-54.
Around 1 in 4 people prescribed opioids for long-term pain care admitted that they struggled with addiction. Every day, more than 1,000 patients are treated in emergency rooms across the U.S. for abusing opioids and/or not using the medication as directed.
In August, President Trump announced that the opioid crisis in the U.S. is now a “national emergency.”
For more information or if you know someone struggling with opioid addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
[Feature Photo: Family Handout]