Prescription Overdose Does not Discriminate

Amy Tryon (USA) on Poggio
Amy Tryon (USA) on Poggio (Photo credit: LarsAC)

We have all heard that addiction does not discriminate, or that drugs are “equally opportunity destroyers” and that becomes more evident as breaking news stories reveal the prescription opiate overdoses of many from actors to uniformed professionals to Olympic medalists.

Amy Tryon, who died of an opiate overdose last month, happened to be both a uniformed professional and an Olympic equestrian medalist.  Tryon rode for the U.S. Equestrian Team at the 2004 Athens Olympics where the U.S. team won a bronze medal. In 2008, she competed at the Beijing Olympics. When she wasn’t training, she worked for Eastside Fire and Rescue in her hometown near Seattle, WA.

Riding took a toll on Tryon as she suffered knee and back injuries for which she was reportedly prescribed pain medication. The medical examiner’s office in Seattle, WA released a toxicology report yesterday indicating that Tyron died of an acute combined opiate overdose, which included Oxycodone.

The percentage of those addicted to pain medications in the US is soaring and deaths from prescription painkillers have now reached epidemic levels. Nearly 15, 000 people die every year of overdoses involving prescription opiates, making the number of overdose deaths from prescription opiates greater than those from heroin and cocaine combined. Access to prescription opiates contributes to the problem, as reports indicate that in 2010 enough prescription painkillers were prescribed to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for a month.

The access to this highly addictive drug and propensity toward accidental overdoses has resulted in numerous tragic stories like that of Amy Tryon. If you or a loved one is struggling with a prescription opiate addiction, there is help. Since addiction does not discriminate, neither does the ability to overcome addiction through drug treatment.
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