A one-year-old child in Akron has died from a drug overdose. The boy’s older brother called 911 while their mother abandoned the children to their fates. The boy died within days of being admitted to the hospital. The abusive mother was arrested on unrelated charges.
The opioid epidemic is wreaking havoc in American families across the United States. Men and women are being devastated by their addiction. It’s horrifying that a small child was caught up in the noxious world of drug abuse.
Paramedics attempted to revive the boy with Narcan before rushing him to the Akron Children’s Hospital. The mother was found the same night, wandering somewhere in the city. The surviving child, aged nine, is now living in a state facility.
Ohio has been particularly affected by the epidemic. Cleveland journalists report that three children have overdosed on opioids in the past three months. A crisis that’s claiming the life of one child a month is a major threat to society.
“As the number of opioid overdoses and deaths increase at an alarming rate, we must take action. It’s time to call this what it is — an emergency,” Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said in a statement. “Most of us know someone impacted by substance abuse—our family, our friends, our neighbors. Our hearts ache for them, but that isn’t enough. We must do more. I’m declaring a statewide health emergency because we need to know more about the epidemic, including enhanced data that illustrates when and where these overdoses occur so that we can develop real, targeted solutions.”
If President Trump accomplishes his goal of creating more jobs for Americans it should have a corresponding effect on the drug crisis. People often turn to opioids in times of desperation. If someone is unemployed and struggling to survive they may lack the resources to get help with their addiction.
“The only way we will be able to make an impact in the opioid epidemic is to come together as a community, and this declaration helps us move forward quickly,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.
“We will look into improving prescription practices, addressing polydrug use, and analyzing raw data on overdose deaths that occur to see where the problem areas are and learn how we can make changes to save lives.”
Americans are dying younger and faster than they should be. Opioid abuse shoulders most of the blame. The drug’s effect on the body is so insidious that heavy users are prone to early deaths. The mental side-effects can be as damaging as the physical ones. The toddler who died of an overdose clearly did not have a mother who was looking out for him the way that she should have. Drugs may have interfered with her natural love for her child.
“We haven’t done the exam yet,” The Akron Medical Examiner’s chief investigator Gary Guenther told reporters. “Right now his death is being classified as a suspicious death of an 18-month-old. When he was brought it, it was as a suspected opioid overdose. That’s how it was reported.”
Terrible cases like the one gripping Akron are likely to continue. America is nowhere near to beating its drug crisis yet. More and more troubled minds are finding solace in hard drugs.
“It does seem like it is almost an iceberg of an epidemic,” Hall said. “We already know that it’s bad, and while my research can’t speak to what percent we are underestimating, we know we are missing some cases,” Victoria Hall, a Center for Disease Control field agent, said.
“We found if you have really profound infectious disease, like really bad pneumonia, that may be the only thing written on the death certificate. And thus it’s not going to get picked up in opioid surveillance.”
Countless Americans are suffering. Help is needed, especially for the innocent children caught up in the mess.