Local mom hopes to reduce number of drug overdoses - Tucson News Now

Local mom hopes to reduce number of drug overdoses

Tucson, Arizona (TucsonNewsNow) - Drug overdoses are the number one cause of accidental death.

According to the Pima County Forensic Science Center nearly a third of accidental deaths were because of overdose.

Doctor Ken Boesen with the Arizona Poison Center say its a trend that's going up.

He says Opiate drugs account for the majority of the deaths.  Those include heroin, oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Doctor Boesen says throughout the years pharmaceutical drugs have become more available to people and often times some use it as a substitute for heroin. In fact, in Pima County for 2011, people in their 50's are hit the most.

"It's the population that starts in many cases to have some other health complications.  Those complications cloud the issue of what pharmaceuticals to prescribe and not only are they having drug interactions, but the drugs could be affecting their underlying disease," said Dr. Boesen.

A Tucson mother is hoping to put these accidental deaths to an end.

Janice Harris is raising awareness for loved ones lost in addiction.

Monday night her non-profit, There is no Hero in Heroin, released balloons in their honor.

A black balloon for those addicted, a red one fore those who have died from drugs and a white one for those recovering.

She started the organization because of her son who struggles with heroin addiction.

But it's not just these kind of events, her latest project is pushing for the 911 Good Samaritan Law.

"It would mean that somebody is not going to die alone, that somebody can call 911.  What happens is people are shooting up together, one of them overdoses and the other is afraid to call 911 and they leave them there to die.  This will prevent those kind of overdoses."

So far, 16 states have the Good Samaritan Law.

To learn more about the non-profit, There is No Hero in Heroin, click on the following link.

It provides you with resources that are available for drug addicts and families.

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