Who’s Next? Are You?

“I’m sickened that addicts are dying and truthfully, I’m mad as hell. I’ve never seen it this bad.”
Internationally recognized author Lorelie Rozzano wants to know how long it will be before you overdose – or get help.

Statistics say someone dies from a drug overdose every nineteen minutes. Personally, I think the numbers are higher. Drug overdoses are becoming such a common occurrence; I believe we’ve become desensitized to them. That is, until you talk with a family member who just lost their loved one.

I am so sorry… It used to be my mantra. Sadly, I find myself saying it again and again. What else can you say to someone who just lost their son, or daughter, spouse or parent, to addiction? How do you tell a child, Mommy or Daddy is never coming home again?

Fact: 19 minutes have passed since I began writing – Someone just died from a drug overdose.

I’m sorry … such meaningless words. I spit out the words and then want to take them back.

When I was active in my addiction, I finished every sentence with, “I’m sorry.” It became my go to, response.

Sometimes, I even meant it. I was sorry, kind of. Mostly, I was sorry that you’d caught me, and of course, I was never going to do ‘it’ again.

Fact: 19 minutes have passed – Someone just died from a drug overdose.

But why you might think, would I be sorry now?

There isn’t anything I’m doing today, that I’m personally sorry for. My life is good, incredible even. My family is happy and thriving. I’m successful and living beyond my wildest dreams. I’m content, and at peace. So why am I sorry? Maybe it’s guilt, or more precisely, survivor’s guilt. My fellow brothers and sisters are dying at an alarming rate. I thank my lucky stars that I’m alive today. There’s no good reason, I should be. I was extremely careless with my body and what I was putting into it. I’m sickened that addicts are dying and truthfully, I’m mad as hell. I’ve never seen it this bad. They’re dying by the thousands. And it’s not what you might think. More people are dying from prescription opiate overdose than any other drugs combined.

Fact: 19 minutes have passed – Someone just died from a drug overdose.

It doesn’t seem right that something prescribed by your Doctor, can be just as deadly as sticking a needle into your arm. We know using a needle is deadly. At least we know it, until we try it. Then we think we’re bullet proof. But a needle is honest. It looks like what it is, a tool to inject drugs into your vein. It’s an intimidating looking apparatus. You know it’s going to hurt, going in.

Pills however, can appear innocent. They come in different shapes, and dosages. Some are colored and others have smiley faces stamped onto them. A sore back, dental pain, a headache, menstrual cramps, something hurts, and we pop a pill. Most heroin users today, started with pharmaceutical pain relievers.

Fact: 19 minutes have passed – Someone just died from a drug overdose.

No one ever thinks addiction will happen to them.

Until it does, and by then it’s too late. It’s like the cucumber, once pickled, you can’t go back.

In a way, the addict has it easier. While they might kid themselves into thinking they’re not hurting anyone else, they are.

I wish we could wake them up from dead, so they could get a look at their parent’s face. Believe me, grief isn’t pretty. Or maybe we could show them a preview of their funeral. With their children curled into the fetal position, bewildered and confused and their spouse surviving somewhere between catatonic and hysterical.

Fact: 19 minutes have passed – Someone just died from a drug overdose.

I wonder if they ever think about it when they’re swallowing, snorting or injecting. Is this it? Am I gonna die?

I know I didn’t. Not until I was lying in bed one night feeling my heart race. Sweat broke out on my forehead and I tried not to panic. I was certain I was having a heart attack. With one eye on the phone and the other on my stash, I wasn’t sure what to do. Call 911, or take another hit. I didn’t want to leave this world with drugs still on the table.

Crazy huh? Don’t try to make sense of it, because you never will.

Fact: 19 minutes have passed – Someone just died from a drug overdose.

Addicts are DYING in their pursuit to get high. They leave behind families that will forever feel their loss.
If you’re using, know this. You aren’t just sticking a needle into your arm, or swallowing a pill down your throat. You’re sticking it to your child, parents, spouse and friends too.
You might be numbed out, but you’re killing your family. Chances are your days are numbered. Every single addict who OD’d thought it would never happen to them.
Death by overdose is such a senseless and tragic way to die. It’s a legacy your family will live with, every single day.

Addiction, it’s the only disease that tells you – you don’t have it.

As I finish this, another 19 minutes have passed and someone just died from a drug overdose.

It leaves me to wonder, who is next. Are you?

God, I hope not.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call this confidential support line for assistance.
1.888 614.2379.
Best wishes, Lorelie Rozzano.

(c) 2014 Jagged Little Edges All Rights Reserved


  1. Sharon

    Wow, I am the parent and mother in law of addicts, my daughter and her husband. I became aware of their situation June of 2014. I told them I would take their almost 2 year old son at the time and care for him. I had to file a report with DCF because when my daughter was in detox her husband took him from my care because he didn’t want to be alone. He was high and my grandson was terrified. I knew then that I needed help, so he officially is in my care as a foster grandparent. My daughter and her husband are now in jail. They started with pills and graduated to black tar heroin and who knows what else, meth and other things too. I hear there are other charges being prepared, it looks like they are going to be imprisoned for some time. My daughter was a brilliant and much loved nurse by her patients. I don’t know this person that is my daughter, she is not the same person. Yes, I love her, but I don’t know her anymore. I have grieved the loss of my daughter, yes she’s alive, but I’m getting to know a different person now, the old one is gone. She almost died in August of 2014, but her husband snuck heroin into her room and she used the day she got out of ICU into a normal hospital room! It’s all overwhelming to me, I think I’ve come through the hardest part, I don’t know, because I don’t know what’s ahead. Yes, she’s in jail, I know she’s not using anymore, but she has lost her freedom which presents a whole new set of challenges. Her son is safe with me and is thriving, I have much to be thankful for, it could have been so different . . .

  2. lauren

    I don’t know what s right. I have my grand daughter…. again.

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