Mother Arrested After 1-Year-Old Overdoses on Fentanyl

Jeanette Lashay Bell, 31

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama woman was arrested on a charge of endangering a child after her 1-year-old daughter allegedly overdosed on drugs and had to be revived by first responders, police said.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department in Birmingham said Wednesday it got a call from a woman who was screaming that her child had overdosed, apparently the powerful opioid painkiller fentanyl. Video from a police body camera showed an officer entering a house on Monday and finding a child unconscious on the floor as others were gathered inside.

An officer gave the child the drug Narcan, a nasal spray that’s used to revive people suffering from opioid overdoses, the agency said. The child began breathing again and was taken by ambulance to Children’s of Alabama, where the department said she was in stable condition.

Jeanette Lashay Bell, 31, was arrested after telling officers the child had gotten into her drug paraphernalia and put something in her mouth, the statement said. Bell was charged with chemical endangerment of a child and jailed with bond sent at $15,000.

Court records were not available to show whether Bell had a lawyer who could speak on her behalf.

Alabama Mom Arrested After 1-Year-Old Overdoses on Fentanyl

Reborn ~ 7th Sober Birthday

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Reborn ~ 7th Sober Birthday 🎂 Sobriety requires courage and grace…Getting sober takes an immense amount of courage, and it deserves to be celebrated. When I think back to my first few days sober, I don’t remember any feelings of pride. I was fighting harder than ever before to take back my life from addiction, but I was still overwhelmed with embarrassment and shame. I had so much trauma, pain and unresolved hurts. To quit using meant to face a great unknown. I didn’t know whether I’d be able to find happiness on the other side. I had covered up all the emotional, mental and physical pain for years. Through unhealthy habits and addictions. I had allowed the pressure of childhood trauma, abuse, rape, unhealthy habits, eating disorder, my health issues and so much more take over me. The pressure built up till it boiled over, I turned to drugs. I found myself losing control of everything, that I was trying to control. As sad as it sounds I found comfort in those drugs because it helped me escape ALL of my pain. I honestly had hoped it would end my life. I am often humbled that my past sin and failure are now woven into my testimony of grace and forgiveness and used by God daily. God has used the greatest failures, mistakes, sin, embarrassment and humiliation to reflect His mercy and grace over my life. What was once hidden under shame and darkness is now exposed in the light of His amazing grace. He is glorified through my past which is an amazing paradox of God’s character and I marvel because He really does bring beauty from ashes and can weave all our past sin into a beautiful tapestry of grace and forgiveness that shines His glory. I’m living testament that we aren’t defined by our past, rather we are defined by grace…. and the courage we have to change. He doesn’t finish there, no, then He uses our past to reach, teach and encourage others. I wasn’t sure what my life would be like without any crutches, but I had to take a leap of faith and get sober. I took that leap, and it was one of the bravest things I’ve done. I remember the day I got on knees crying out to Jesus. I was homeless, cold, in and out of jail, barely 90lbs, my face sunken in and gray… I had one foot at death’s door and so very desperate for that courage to change. The simple act of praying had became something much bigger than I would have ever imagined. It became my hope and faith. Today I fight all my battles on my knees. Today that courage and grace has given me another year clean and sober…Today I celebrate 7 years clean and sober.

11-year-old Port Orchard girl overdosed on fentanyl and died in May, and authorities allege the girl’s mother had been smoking opioid pills with her, leading to her death.

An 11-year-old Port Orchard girl overdosed on fentanyl and died in May, and authorities allege the girl’s mother had been smoking opioid pills with her, leading to her death.

A witness named in court documents charging Stephanie Ann Melton, 40, with controlled substance homicide for the death of her daughter, Riley Melton, said that Melton justified using narcotics with the girl.

According to the witness, Melton said she is the girl’s mother and preferred Riley use drugs with her so she could keep an eye on her.

Melton pleaded not guilty to the charge at a hearing Friday afternoon, at which prosecutors told Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Tina Robinson they made a plea offer to Melton, which will remain open until Dec. 30. If Melton chooses to reject the offer, prosecutors said they would file additional charges — and aggravators — that would dramatically increase Melton’s prison sentence if she is found guilty.  

Police and medics were called May 6 at about 3 a.m. to Melton’s apartment at 145 block of Lippert Drive, where Riley was found unresponsive and not breathing, according to a Port Orchard police investigation.

Melton told officers Riley had been sitting in a recliner watching TV and eating candy and appeared to be sleeping. However, Melton said she brushed Riley’s hair away and saw her lips had turned blue and she was not breathing. Melton then started administering CPR, according to court documents.

Riley was taken to a hospital where tests found the presence of fentanyl in her system. Medical personnel could not detect brain activity. On May 9, Riley was declared officially brain dead.

On May 13 the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office pathologist performed an autopsy on Riley and determined the cause of death was an overdose on fentanyl, but it was unknown at that time how the fentanyl entered her system. Riley’s manner of death was listed as “undetermined,” according to charging documents.

After Riley was found unresponsive, a witness gave a recorded statement to investigators, saying she went to Melton’s apartment around midnight, where it was common for her to hang out with Melton and smoke Percocets.

Percocets are prescription pain pills that are increasingly counterfeited by drug traffickers who fortify the pills with the powerful synthetic painkiller fentanyl, a substance blamed for a spike in overdoses. A witness in the case referred to the pills Melton allegedly smoked with Riley as “street perks,” that is, counterfeit percocet pills.

While at the apartment, the witness said that she, Melton, a man and Riley smoked percocet pills together.

“Stephanie broke up the blue pills, held the foil and worked the lighter while (the witness) and Riley took multiple hits of the pill,” a detective wrote. “(The witness) stated she had gotten mad at Stephanie before for allowing Riley to smoke but was told she’s the mother and would rather have her do it at home rather than do it on the street or somewhere she can’t be watched.”

Investigators then began reading Facebook messages from Melton and others, which showed Melton seeking more pills and on May 8 asking the witness if she was “keeping things to yourself.”

“I’m just saying keep to yourself no matter what you understand,” Melton wrote, according to court documents.

In a message to the man who was alleged to have been smoking the pills the night Riley overdosed, Melton wrote that the witness “has to take things to her grave cuz I will deny everything,” according to court documents.

Melton was booked Thursday night into the Kitsap County Jail. Her bail was set at $100,000.

Melton wore a smock to her video arraignment Friday afternoon, typically worn by jail inmates who are lodged in single-occupant “crisis cells,” and shook her head when Deputy Prosecutor Phil Bacus read the allegations to Judge Robinson.

Bacus said that Melton was an “extreme risk to the community” and showed a disregard to the consequences. “Now we are here because of the consequences,” and requested bail be increased to $750,000.

Robinson told Melton she was “quite shocked at the behavior alleged here” and approved Bacus’ bail request, saying the allegations showed Melton “can’t make good choices.”

Bacus also detailed the charges that prosecutors planned to file if Melton rejected their plea offer, however Bacus did not say what sentence prosecutors were offering in exchange for a guilty plea.

Some of the charges prosecutors would add were distribution of drugs to a person under the age of 18 and first-degree criminal mistreatment. Bacus also said prosecutors would include “aggravators” on those charges. If convicted, the “aggravators” would allow a judge to sentence Melton to a prison term above the maximum sentence set in state law.

Greenwood woman’s overdose death is hard hitting warning against Opioids

Greenwood woman's overdose death is hard hitting warning against Opioids

Nikki Christmas had turned her life around — her loved ones could all see how well she was doing.

She had been addicted to pills, but with support from her mother, she sought help going through recovery at the Faith Home in Greenwood. After getting clean, she started working there and helped other women in recovery keep tabs on their medications and appointments.

Greenwood woman's overdose death is hard hitting warning against Opioids

She had found her purpose helping other women who were getting the same help she had sought. She called them “my girls.” At home, she was building a better life for her two young children.

But when a challenging time left her hurting, she tried to self-medicate again, her mother said. She bought a pill and took it sitting in her car in a parking lot on Calhoun Road.

“She didn’t stand a chance when she took that,” said Norma McCutcheon, her mother. “She didn’t stand a chance.”

Nikki’s body was found the next morning, still in the driver’s seat and holding her cellphone. The pill she took contained fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate used in anesthesia. The drug can be fatal even in small doses, and when administered incorrectly, it will slow the body’s functions down so much the heart and lungs stop working.

Nikki was found dead Nov. 7, 2017, one of 16 people who died that year of an accidental drug overdose.

“Nikki is not just another statistic,” Norma said. “There are so many other ‘Nikkis’ out there that deserve a second chance for a better future.”

More than a number“Nikki, she was one of a kind. She was very smart as a child, and very curious,” Norma said. “She’d know how something worked, but she always wanted to know why.”

Throughout school, Nikki was in gifted and talented classes, and she graduated from high school a year early with scholarships for college. Norma said her daughter was a caring, loving girl, who dreamt of having a white picket fence in her future. Like many teens, she got in some trouble with friends who experimented with alcohol and marijuana, but for the most part, her school years went smoothly.

After high school, Nikki married and had two children, Blaise and Sophie. Norma said Blaise was born on her birthday, and Nikki joked that no one could ever top that birthday present.

There were people in Nikki’s life, Norma said, who enabled her to further use alcohol and marijuana to deal with stressors. Eventually, this escalated to taking pills recreationally. Norma tried to intervene, going with her daughter to rehab and supporting her in efforts to quit.

“I did everything I could think of,” Norma said. “She came to me one day and said ‘Mama, I know I’m going to have to make a change. I’m really embarrassed that I’ve been through rehab and it didn’t automatically fix this.’ I told her when you’ve reached that point, you’re ready to make a change.”

Norma encouraged her daughter as she went to the Faith Home in Greenwood, and went through their eight-week program.

“She was a beautiful girl, beautiful,” said Aline Barnes, co-founder of the Faith Home. “When she died, it was such a shock for us, because she was doing so well. But it doesn’t take but that one time.”

When Nikki finished the program, she continued working with the Faith Home. She worked in their Abbeville women’s facility, doing clerical work and helping the women who were coming for help keep tabs of doctors appointments. Norma said Nikki took incredible pride in her work — she called the women she worked with “my girls.”

“Nikki really had a great personality, and she really enjoyed working with the ladies over there,” said James Gowan, Faith Home general manager. “When you’ve got 23 ladies, there’s always a need.”

Norma saw a weight lifted from her daughter’s shoulders, and from her own. Her daughter’s recovery had been taxing, and Norma knew she couldn’t fix Nikki’s problems for her, but she was there every step of the way supporting her daughter.

In 2017, Norma was recovering from shoulder surgery at home, and Nikki came down to visit for her birthday.

“People always say these things happen to other people. I never thought it would happen in my family,” Norma said. “That would have been the last time anybody in our family saw her.”

Norma, who lives in Florence, got the phone call from Greenwood County Coroner Sonny Cox’s office.

Nikki was dead.

“That moment changed my life,” Norma said. “I told him no, it’s not Nikki. You must have made a mistake. It’s not Nikki. I couldn’t grasp it. I couldn’t believe that what he was telling me was real.”

The details get hazy for Norma after that. In the following days, she felt like she was in a nightmare, watching herself go through the motions of arranging her daughter’s funeral. She experienced panic attacks and chest pains — the doctors said it was broken heart syndrome, a condition that can be brought on by periods of high stress and emotion.

Norma went through counseling, connected with other people who were experiencing traumatic grief and worked to regain her footing. Her new mission was to seek some modicum of justice for her daughter.

Pressed pillsWhen Nikki’s toxicology report came back, the pill she had taken was overwhelmingly fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid used in medical settings for pain relief, and is often associated with treating pains from advanced stages of cancer. When used inappropriately, fentanyl can be incredibly deadly even in small doses.

Greenwood Police Capt. Jamie Lovett has worked most of his career in narcotics investigations. When he first saw fentanyl in the community, he saw it as transdermal patches that people would chew to ingest the drug.

“At the time, it really wasn’t causing as much overdoses as it is now,” he said.

Eventually, it started coming in as a raw, powdered form, and soon after drug traffickers began using pill presses to shape fentanyl and heroin into the mold of prescription drugs.

“They were trying to beat the system by having it, if you got caught, look like a medicine you could get prescribed,” he said. “A lot of people taking it in the beginning legitimately thought they were taking 30-milligram oxycodone.”

More of these pills were being tested and found to be a mix of fentanyl and heroin, and overdose deaths skyrocketed, he said. The drug was doing its job, but in elevated doses, this anesthetic was slowing down people’s breathing and heart rates so much their bodies would shut down. Some people would pair these pills with methamphetamine, to counteract the heart-slowing effect, but this also caused overdoses.

Norma stayed in touch with law enforcement as they investigated Nikki’s death and the distribution and trafficking of the drug that killed her. She was informed when the person who reportedly sold Nikki the pill that killed her was arrested and watched as Greenwood’s investigation into local dealers grew into a multi-agency federal investigation that ended up indicting more than a dozen people in a drug ring that was bringing fentanyl into the state.

Still, even as Norma was glad to see those responsible face some justice, no one was facing charges in connection with Nikki’s death. It didn’t feel like justice to her.

She sent more than 60 letters to state, local and even federal government officials telling them Nikki’s story, and included photos of Nikki so they could see the life snuffed out by this drug.

“Nikki’s picture is still in my office in Columbia today,” said state Rep. Ashley Trantham, R-Greenville. “Day in and day out, I’ve seen people struggle with addiction and relapse.”

She said Norma’s letter broke her heart, Nikki’s death inspired her to fight for legislation to punish those who sell drugs that cause overdoses. She advocates for legislation that would make it possible to charge dealers with voluntary manslaughter if they knowingly sell drugs containing lethal amounts of fentanyl. She also said doctors should cut back on prescribing opioid pain killers when able.

Trantham’s own mother battled prescription drug addiction, she said.

“That could have been me, that could have been my mom,” she said. “It’s so strong, it grabs you and it doesn’t care about where you’re from or how much money you make.”

The lives of those lost to overdoses cannot be reduced to mere numbers, and Nikki was one of 16 people who died in Greenwood County of accidental overdoses in 2017, according to a report from the Greenwood County Coroner’s Office. Drugs were the leading cause of accidental deaths that year.

As of Dec. 2, the coroner’s office had reported 23 confirmed overdose deaths in 2020, with seven cases still pending investigation from the State Law Enforcement Division.

Despite federal investigators arresting more than a dozen people in connection with trafficking fentanyl into the area, Lovett said the drug is making a comeback.

“Just like anything else, if there’s a bad batch we see it immediately because we have a wave of overdose deaths,” he said. “We try everything, we get information on it any way we can.”

While officials work to fight for better treatment for people affected by addiction and against the trafficking of potentially lethal drugs, Norma continues to fight every day to keep her daughter’s story alive. She’s chronicled much of her daughter’s life in the memorabilia she can find and shares with her grandchildren what she can of their mother’s love-filled life.

“I cannot being to describe the pain and loss we are having to endure as a family,” she said. “This is Nikki’s story, told by the people who have always supported her.”

‘Club kid’ killer Michael Alig dies of apparent heroin overdose inside his Manhattan apartment Christmas morning

‘Club kid’ killer Michael Alig dies of apparent heroin overdose inside his Manhattan apartment Christmas morning

Notorious Manhattan club promoter Michael Alig, who spent 17 years in prison for murdering and dismembering his drug dealer, died of an apparent heroin overdose Friday, officials said.

Alig, 54, was found dead inside his Washington Heights apartment on W. 159th St. by his ex-boyfriend just after midnight, officials said. The ex-boyfriend said Alig had been doing drugs, and heroin was found in the apartment, police sources said.

Cops sealed the apartment with a large green sticker over the door Friday, preventing anyone from coming inside as the investigation continued.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Alig ran a number of Manhattan clubs and was the ringleader of a group of club goers known as the “Club Kids,” who epitomized New York City club culture at the time.

He was a tabloid fixture, whether he was throwing parties in subway stations or introducing the city to ketamine, a now-common party drug.

In 1996, he pleaded guilty to the murder of his drug dealer, Andre (Angel) Melendez, and served 17 years in prison.

He got into an argument with Melendez which ended with a friend, Robert (Freeze) Riggs, bashing Melendez with a hammer.

The murderous duo later chopped up the corpse in the bathtub and dumped his body parts in the Hudson River.

Alig was an early suspect and went missing as police investigated the gruesome crime. But just months before he was charged with the crime he returned to New York and began throwing parties again, despite rumors circulating that he was a killer.

“I know you think I’m a murderer. Does that mean you won’t co-host my upcoming birthday party?” Alig asked Village Voice columnist Michael Musto in October 1996, Musto later said.

Alig and Riggs pleaded guilty in 1997 to manslaughter and each were sentenced to 10 to 20 years behind bars.

The infamous murder was the subject of a documentary, “Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Michael Alig” and the 2003 movie “Party Monster” starring Macaulay Culkin as Alig.

Alig took issue with the “Party Monster” movie, which showed him injecting Drano into Melendez’s dead body.

“We did pour Drano in the bathtub along with baking soda, but we did not inject him with any Drano – nothing like that,” he told 1010 Wins in a 2014 interview. “You know, it makes a huge difference. There are people that I know that would not speak to me for the whole time I was in (prison) because they thought that was true.”

Alig said that he never intended to kill Melendez but was “in another reality” when he murdered the drug dealer.

“Things didn’t seem as real as they do right now, and nobody meant to kill Angel,” he said. “We didn’t love him, but we also didn’t hate him. He just wasn’t a great friend. I mean, I’m just being honest.”

“Have I paid my debt to society? Legally, I have,” he said. “But morally and ethically, I mean, nothing short of, you know, them killing me, I don’t think anything is going to ever really balance out the scales of karma.”

Alig’s troubles with the law didn’t end with his release from prison.

In February 2017, he was arrested for trespassing and smoking crystal meth in a park outside Bronx Supreme Court.

A cop caught him in the Bronx’s Joyce Kilmer Park at about 1:30 a.m., according to officials. Police found a bag of crystal meth and a pipe with residue from the drug in his jacket pocket.

Alig had kept a low profile since being released from prison. Neighbors in his Washington Heights apartment building didn’t know anything about his notorious past.

“I’ve heard of [the] club kid but, wow, I didn’t know,” said a woman named Oriana, who lived directly across from Alig’s apartment. “Wow, that really surprises me because he’s so nice.”

Despite her neighbor’s kind demeanor, Oriana knew he was into drugs based on one of their first interactions at the apartment.

“I asked him when he moved in if he needed anything and he’s like, ‘Do you know where I can find dope?’ And I was like, ‘I didn’t mean that,’” she recalled. “He was very open about it, at least to me.”

Oriana added that she let someone into the apartment building late Thursday night who then went into Alig’s apartment. She does not believe the man she let in was the ex-boyfriend who found Alig dead, who she is familiar with.

After she let the man in, about 20 minutes passed before an ambulance came — then Oriana heard a man crying in the apartment.

Friends and acquaintances posted on Facebook Friday mourning the loss of the man who led such a complicated life.

“More hatred and more death is not the answer. No one deserved to die and nothing is accomplished by celebrating more death. It’s all a tragedy,” wrote one woman on Alig’s Facebook page.

“Rest in peace both Michael and Angel. May the good not be completely overtaken by the bad, and may we all take heed from the lessons buried within and try to spread peace, love, and unity. Not hatred and anger. My love to all those affected on both sides.”

This story was first published HERE

Decomposing Body of 4-Year-Old Found in Beaumont Home Where Man and Woman Overdosed

The already decomposing and malnourished body of a 4-year-old girl was discovered in Beaumont after two adults had overdosed inside the home Wednesday, police said. Just before 9 p.m., Beaumont police responded at the request of paramedics to a home in the 800 block of E. 6th St. A man in the home was having a seizure, and Cal Fire arrived at the home to find the man and a woman unresponsive. They had overdosed, police said

The already decomposing and malnourished body of a 4-year-old girl was discovered in Beaumont after two adults had overdosed inside the home Wednesday, police said. 

Just before 9 p.m., Beaumont police responded at the request of paramedics to a home in the 800 block of E. 6th St.

A man in the home was having a seizure, and Cal Fire arrived at the home to find the man and a woman unresponsive. They had overdosed, police said

Paramedics performed CPR on the woman but she was later declared dead at the hospital.The man was taken to the hospital in critical condition. 

The 4-year-old discovered in the home had been decomposing for one or two days, police said.

There were signs of severe malnourishment and bruises all over her body, police said. 

The man, woman, and child had not yet been identified by authorities. 

Major methamphetamine and fentanyl trafficking operation, including labs inside three homes in Pixley, Calif., and drugs with a street value of $1.5 million

This Jan. 23, 2020, file photo released by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office shows evidence seized after a Jan. 5 traffic stop led officers to major methamphetamine and fentanyl trafficking operation, including labs inside three homes in Pixley, Calif., and drugs with a street value of $1.5 million, authorities said. A record 621 people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco so far this year, a staggering number that far outpaces the 173 deaths from COVID-19 the city has seen thus far. The crisis fueled by the powerful painkiller fentanyl could have been far worse if it wasn’t for the nearly 3,000 times Narcan was used from January to the beginning of November to save someone from the brink of death, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020.

Overdose deaths far outpace COVID-19 deaths in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A record 621 people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco so far this year, a staggering number that far outpaces the 173 deaths from COVID-19 the city has seen thus far.

The crisis fueled by the powerful painkiller fentanyl could have been far worse if it wasn’t for the nearly 3,000 times Narcan was used from January to the beginning of November to save someone from the brink of death, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday.

The data reflects the number of times people report using Narcan to the Drug Overdose Prevention and Education Project, a city-funded program that coordinates San Francisco’s response to overdose, or return to refill their supply. Officials at the DOPE Project said that since the numbers are self-reported, they are probably a major undercount.

Last year, 441 people died of drug overdoses — a 70% increase from 2018 — and 2,610 potential overdoses were prevented by Narcan, a medication commonly sprayed up the nose to reverse an opioid overdose, according to data from the city Medical Examiner’s office and the DOPE Project.

The crisis is deepening because fentanyl, which can be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, flooded the city’s drug supply, the newspaper said. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted city services like housing and treatment, and left many people who rely on others to help save them if they overdose to use alone.

While nearly 40% of the deaths occurred in the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods near downtown, city data showed the epidemic has touched every part of the city. Many people overdosed in low-income apartment buildings and in city-funded hotel rooms for the homeless. Others died on sidewalks, in alleyways and parks around the city.

This story was first found HERE

The Heroin Nod: Explained

The Heroin Nod: Explained

What is the Heroin Nod? Are they sleeping? Why don’t they fall down ? Do they know they’re nodding off? Why would someone want to pay to feel this way?

What Is Nodding on Heroin? Nodding is exactly what it sounds like. Once heroin takes effect, a person may go in and out of consciousness in a manner that seems much like sleeping. Drug abuse causes many changes in a person’s behavior, and nodding is one side effect of using heroin that you might notice in someone who is under its influence.

Nodding got its name from the fact that people exhibiting this behavior appear to nod off, and this can even occur if a person is sitting up. At first glance, it may seem humorous to see your friend or family member fall asleep so fast, but the truth is that the reason for their behavior could be no laughing matter. Nodding is a sign of heroin addiction, and frequent episodes of this happening mean that you must take action to address your loved one’s problem.

Is Nodding Dangerous?

The risks associated with heroin are well-known, and an overdose is a constant concern for anyone who uses the drug. Sadly, even first-time users are at risk for negative reactions that can lead to long-term health consequences. After witnessing a nodding event, you are bound to have questions.

For instance, you might have been frightened by your loved one’s inability to respond coherently even though you sensed that they were aware that you were speaking. Alternatively, your loved one may have nodded off during an inconvenient time such as when they were riding the bus to work. As a short answer, nodding is dangerous, but there are things that you can do to protect your loved one.

One of the biggest risks associated with nodding is an injury that occurs when it happens suddenly. For instance, your loved one could collapse on the floor if they are standing when the drug takes full effect. Alternatively, they could nod off in public, which places them at risk for criminal activity, such as having their purse snatched. Nodding also looks very similar to an overdose, which is why it is so frightening for loved ones to witness.

Once you realize that your loved one is nodding, your first step is to get them to a safe place. For instance, you may need to get them to a chair or the floor to minimize the risk of a fall-related injury. If you can wake them up, then try to keep them alert by engaging them in conversation.

After you get your loved one to safety, you need to monitor them for an overdose. Never leave someone that you know is using heroin alone, especially if they are nodding. You must also be ready to contact the emergency authorities if you have even the slightest suspicion that an overdose is occurring.

A person who his experiencing an overdose may not respond to stimuli during a nod. Call for help if your loved one does not respond to normal rousing methods such as shaking their arm or shouting.

What Are Other Signs of Heroin Addiction?

Nodding is just one of many symptoms that a person experiences when they use heroin. Watch for other signs of drug abuse such as them being disoriented or experiencing strange bouts of hyperactivity followed by lethargy. A person who is under the influence of heroin may also have exaggerated body movements that appear as though their muscles feel heavy.

Similar to other types of drug abuse, your friend or family member may have large gaps of time in their memory, and they may be unable to tell you about something that had just happened that day when they were high.

Eventually, heroin addiction becomes harder to hide, especially since this drug requires tools and preparation. If your loved one is using regularly, you may find evidence of their drug use, such as needles or syringes, that cannot be explained with a medical reason.

Alternatively, you could notice that syringes are going missing from someone in your family who uses them to treat a health condition such as diabetes. Burned substances in receptacles, such as spoons or aluminum cans, are another sign of heroin use. In addition to physical evidence, watch for these signs of heroin addiction that could appear in your loved one’s behavior.

  • Frequent lying
  • Long episodes of sleeping
  • Scratching or complaints of itchy skin
  • Disappearing for long stretches of time with no explanation
  • Wearing long pants or sleeve to hide track marks