The Truth About Opioid Abuse and Families

NPR ran a story on April 18, 2018 about a young girl struggling with opioid addiction. It’s easy to make assumptions about opioid abuse and what it can do to families, including families being torn apart and the emotional toll it can take, but we are forgetting all of the other areas of life that opioid abuse can affect. There is the financial toll, the time consumption, the physical stress, and many other devastating effects, on both the victims and their loved ones.


Destini Johnson is a young woman in her late 20’s. She was thrown into jail for multiple months for drug charges, and when she was released, she had plans to turn her life around. Unfortunately, only eight short months later, Destini lay in a coma as a result of an opioid overdose.


Destini’s mother has been by her side on a constant basis, having to view her daughter’s unconscious body attached to multiple machines in the intensive care unit. The emotional damage her mother is facing is unimaginable to most of us. On top of the stress over her daughter’s health, Destini’s mother is also helping to care for Destini’s two young children.


Opioid abuse not only comes with emotional costs but financial costs as well. Destini’s mother explains to NPR about the days she and her husband had to miss work to drive their daughter to rehab, or about the delay in their plans for retirement because of the financial need to pay for things like rehab, hospital expenses, etc. Destini’s parents express their sadness when discussing the fact that they could not afford the $50,000 a month expense that some rehabilitation programs were charging for treatment. Destini’s mother can only hope that their insurance will pay for some, or any, of the daily accruing hospital expenses.


“Multiply the Johnsons’ story by about 143,000 opioid-related overdoses and 42,000 deaths across the country per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest data, and you get a sense of the damage ravaging families and their finances. […] Overdoses surged 35 percent in Indiana from July 2016 through last September and have become the leading cause of death for Americans under 50” (NPR). Destini’s family is one of many to be experiencing such turmoil at the hands of the opioid epidemic. It will take everyone doing their part to bring an end to the opioid epidemic.

NPR did receive word that Destini is regaining consciousness and is out of intensive care, and we hope that she can make a full recovery.


Although there are many things each of us can do to prevent opioid abuse, one thing you can do right now is incorporate a proper medication disposal method in your home. With our NarcX solution, you can dispose of medications right on site and fully dissolve tablets in under just two hours. Keep your home and/or your healthcare facility safe. Call us today (303) 434-1630.


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