The world was shaken by the death of music legend and mastermind Prince. It has come to public attention that Prince died of a prescription pain killer drug overdose. What is complicated about Fentanyl, and other prescription drugs, is that they are still a controlled substance, even if they are prescribed. Having a prescription does not make a drug safe. Prescribed medications can be lethal, and it is important to be mindful of what we put into our bodies and their effects on us.
Prescription drugs used outside of their intended parameters or in not prescribed combinations can be lethal. We trust doctors and that is why a prescription has value. There is weight and meaning associated with the time medical staff has spent in prescribing and monitoring health effects and dosages. When we use prescription drugs recreationally, or outside of the dosage or instructions, we are taking great risks that could prove fatal. When such powerful painkillers like Fentanyl are prescribed and used at will, it is difficult because of the relief that they provide. As a synthetic opioid compound it is stronger than morphine and provides pain relief for those struggling with chronic pain and terminal illnesses.
What is dangerous about an effective and potent opioid, is that lethal overdoses can be taken on accident. There are illegal illicit Fentanyl forms, and these are dangerous as well, without regulation or consistency and can lead to accidental overdoses as well. Addiction to painkillers and opioids is devastating, especially when just one more dose can be fatal. Many states are increasing access to Naloxone, a drug that can be used to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose. If you are concerned a loved one may be on the verge of an overdose, call emergency medical services.
In the quiet and grief after Prince’s death, take time to be aware of what is in your medicine cabinet and who has access to it. Know your medications and their prescriptions and seek help if you are struggling with addiction. There is no shame in seeking help and learning your boundaries before a crisis occurs.