Wander said if dependency issues are not addressed, they can lead to death in some people in the form of a drug overdose. Opioids, he said, "are very tricky," and tolerance levels of the painkilling drugs can be misleading, resulting in the shutdown of the heart and lungs during sleep.
"Just about everyone in detox knows of someone who has died from an overdose," Wander said.
Society also suffers in terms of lost productivity at home and in the workplace, but also because those addicted to medications are unable to function properly as parents or citizens and often fall into law-breaking or other destructive behaviors. The cost of incarceration also falls to families of the addict and to society.
Saturday: A look at how families can impact addiction recovery
The Deseret News/Intermountain Healthcare Hotline focuses on chemical dependency treatment. From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dr. Ted Wander, a psychiatrist with the LDS Hospital Dayspring Treatment Center, and Jan Frederickson, a substance abuse counselor at the facility, will answer questions from the public.
Call 800-925-8177 during that time. Those interested can also post questions during that time on the Deseret News Facebook page, www.facebook.com/deseretnews.
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