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Heroin Overdose Deaths – From Hollywood to our Own Backyard

This past Sunday, Hollywood lost an amazingly gifted actor – Philip Seymour Hoffman.  What’s even more sad is that three kids lost their father to addiction.

preventoverdoseUnfortunately, heroin overdose deaths are not uncommon.  The truth is that they are happening right in our own backyard.  In fact, according to a recent article in The Buffalo News, in the fast few weeks alone, heroin is to blame for at least seven deaths among drug addicts in Buffalo and its suburbs.  In response, SWAT teams have been busting heroin dealers and their associates in an attempt to stop the flow of heroin locally.

It might take a famous actor’s overdose, such as Hoffman or Cory Monteith to draw attention to such a critical issue in our community.  What should we learn from this?  If it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone.

So, what can you do if you suspect someone you love is abusing heroin?

  1. Snoop.  When you suspect your teen or partner is abusing drugs, you can throw privacy right out the window.  Look into their social media, snoop around their bedrooms, check their texts, follow them in the car if you have to.  See if money is missing, and look for odd behavior.  It’s your job as a parent or partner to protect them.
  2. Don’t do it alone!  Realize that you need professional help and that it’s ok to ask for help.  Horizon has a 24 hour help line available or you can call our admissions at 716.831.1800 to set up an appointment.
  3. Equip yourself with an overdose prevention kit. Remember, you can’t force someone into treatment, so arm yourself with the tools you need to prevent an overdose.   At Horizon, we conduct trainings for parents and loved ones and will provide you with a kit.  More information about Horizon’s Opiate Prevention Kit and Training
  4. Remember that calling 9-1-1 to prevent an overdose, will NOT get you in trouble.  The 9-1-1 Good Samaritan Law protects people who call 9-1-1 when they are witnessing an overdose.  There is a short window of time where you can save someone’s life.

Remember, addiction doesn’t discriminate.  It cuts across all demographics: rich or poor, city or suburbs, man or woman, boy or girl, famous or not. Even though there isn’t a cure for this epidemic, there is help available.  Horizon has the best resources and team available in Western New York to help you or a loved one.  Our team at Horizon Village, Freedom Village or our new detox center in Buffalo are ready to help.  Please contact us today.