A community in Georgia has been shaken as of late, thanks to the passing of two childhood friends, on the same day in separate instances, due to opioids. Dustin Manning, 19 years of age passed on the morning of Friday May 26th, due to a mix of fentanyl and heroin; meanwhile some short miles away, less than an hour later, his friend Joseph Abraham, 18 years old, was found on the floor with no pulse, because of an opioid overdose.
Joseph and Dustin had been friends since childhood. The twosome played Little League together on a team where Joseph’s dad coached for about two years. Still, once middle school hit, the two started to dabble with drugs.
CNN reported that Joseph’s parents think that their son’s first encounter with opioids occurred during his wisdom teeth removal. The drug was prescribed to him again when his ankle broke, then one more time when he suffered an injury to his hand. Both injuries occurred while playing sports.
Mom Kathi Abraham relayed that medicines prescribed by a doctor are often trusted, she thinks that her son turned to drugs after two big tragedies that occurred while he was young: losing a friend to cancer and losing another friend during a drowning incident. Rightfully so, Abraham had a hard time dealing with both deaths at such a young age.
Meanwhile Dustin informed his parents at 12 years old that he thought he was dealing with depression. He began drinking beer and started drugs. Both parents reached out for help to treatment centers on multiple occasions. Still, Dave Abraham, Joseph’s father, thought the treatments were not adequate enough to help his son fight this drug battle.
Sadly, however, as much as they looked to solve the problem their sons had via treatment, both sets of parents quickly realized that gaining access to this drug was just too easy and fast.
The irony in this disastrous circumstance was that Joe and Dustin had not been in touch as of late, but it seems they both may have bought the drug that took their lives, from the same dealer. As per police reports, the pill wrappings looked almost identical.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that once numbers are finalized for 2017, this year’s deaths due to overdose will exceed 2016’s of 64,000. Here is hoping that President Trump’s declaration that this drug addiction is a public health emergency will open some doors to increase awareness, education, and help prevent any more unnecessary deaths around opioids.