Alarming Emergency Room Overdoses

While an alarming number of deaths are attributed to prescription drugs an even higher number of overdoses are seen in Lake Area emergency rooms each week.

As KPLC's Rhonda Kitchens found out many of the lives that are saved have been changed forever.

Addiction specialist Dr. Jay Soileau speaks about the far reaching effects. He says "Probably the biggest problem other than the emotional let down after the high is gone is the fact that if you take too much of them to the point where it affects your breathing you may have loss of oxygen being carried to the brain."

It's a problem Lake Area doctors are seeing at an alarming rate.

Soileau also admits "We've had patients who've been driven up by their friend to the ER pushed out foaming at the mouth not really breathing, honk the horn and drive off."

And the results can be tragic.

Soileau continues "We have patients that are quadriplegic who are not able to speak very well may be able to think at a much lesser level than before and their whole life was totally changed and that's if they survive."

Soileau goes on to say, those highest at risk are teens and young adults. "They see it as a less clandescent a less illegal way to get high."

Easier to obtain than alcohol or illicit drugs, makes prescriptions found right inside your home medicine cabinet the latest trend in teen parties.

Soileau talks about the teen perspective. "Showing how tough and how cool they are, I can grab a handful of pills, take them and I'll be ok... of course that's not what always happens."