Getting off drugs isn’t easy and many people fail. So with the drug epidemic touching every community, how do you overcome addiction before it is too late?
Mac Miller’s comments in a 2016 Fader documentary take on tragic meaning after his death of an apparent drug overdose on September 7, 2018. He was 26, had a new album, and was about to go on a world tour. Watching French Montana warning him about a potent mixture of Lean (soda mixed with codeine cough syrup and other substances) is painful.
“When you’re taking something like Lean, it is such a gateway to that euphoric opiate type of a high,” Dr. Domenick Sportelli, a psychiatrist, said.
Miller lost his battle with substance abuse. And unfortunately he is not alone. A recent New York City Health Department survey found that overdose deaths rose in 2017—taking the life of one New Yorker every six hours.
Dr. Arabia Mollette said she sees it in her emergency room.
“People of all races, ethnicities, religious groups, and ages—from school-age children to someone’s grandmother,” she said.
Drugs like heroin, cocaine, pills and K-2 increasingly are laced with the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which is the main factor in the rising death toll.
We saw an FDNY paramedic and NYPD officers trying to deal with a man who had apparently overdosed in the middle of a street in the South Bronx.
“I’m just flabbergasted at how each day, every hour on the hour, of people that come into the emergency department overdosing on opiates or molly or K-2,” Dr. Mollette said.
She said she believes that none of the treatment options work unless the substance abuser takes personal responsibility.
That can be an enormous challenge when the addiction is both physical and psychological, according to Dr. Sportelli.
“They have mental stressors that they can escape from within a couple of hours—and it all goes away,” Dr. Sportelli said. “The problem is when the drug wears off, all of those problems come back, and it’s 10 times worse if not more—plus the physical symptoms of your body craving it.”
#MacMiller #DrugOverdose #DrugAddiction #Opioids #Fentanyl #Heroin #Spice #K2 #DrugTreatment #streetsoldiers #push4peace
LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers
TERRELL JONES, Co-Chair, Peer Network of New York and Partner, Drug Policy Alliance
DR. ARABIA MOLLETTE, Emergency Medicine Physician
TONY SUNSHINE, Artist and 3 Years Sober
DR. DOMENICK SPORTELLI, Psychiatrist
FURTHER VIEWING AND READING:
WATCH: “MAC MILLER – STOPPED MAKING EXCUSES” (THE FADER DOCUMENTARY)
SAMHSA NATIONAL HELPLINE 800-662-4357
NYC DRUG & ALCOHOL USE SERVICES
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: PRESCRIPTION OPOIOIDS
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: HEROIN
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: FENTANYL
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS (K2/SPICE)
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: MDMA (ECSTASY/MOLLY)