Would you ever imagine that a drug addict’s organs could be used for a transplant procedure? As bizarre as that sounds, the fact of the matter is that these contaminated body parts are just as viable to save lives as clean organs. So how is this possible? As a direct result of the growing Opioid Crisis, hundreds of thousands have lost their lives as a direct result of drug-related overdoses, all due to drugs that (for the most part) are 100% legal. However, as these deaths have increased, the number of organ donations has also skyrocketed due to the growing body count. So how can drug-polluted organs still be used to help people who require life-saving procedures? Let’s take a closer look at this unusual circumstance in our country and find out more.
Hope in the Midst of a Crisis
As of 2015, an estimated 2 million Americans suffer from a form of painkiller addiction, with an addiction 117,000 dying from opioid-related overdoses. However, in the midst of this terrible epidemic sweeping our nation, hundreds of families are finding hope through an incredible avenue: transplanting the organs of opioid addicts.
Consider that, in 1994, only 29 organ donors died from overdosing on drugs. However, in 2015, that amount skyrocketed to 848 donors, based on a report from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Sadly, Dr. Jay Fishman (chief of transplant of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital) has confirmed that the majority of overdose fatalities include young people who have used opioids for the first or second time.
Saving Organs and Lives
Also, we must keep in mind that the increase in donors is not simply linked to opioid-related deaths. Now, scientific breakthroughs allow doctors to detox organs (once unusable for such a delicate procedure) to save patients’ lives.
Dr. David Klassen (chief medical officer for UNOS) added that many people will automatically assume that drug addicts’ organs are completely useless. Interestingly, though, these organs are in a much better condition than those of other donors, mostly due to the sad reality that a majority of overdose victims are so young. Thanks to nucleic acid testing, however, doctors can weed out illnesses like HIV and hepatitis C to prevent further infections from spreading.
Always remember that opioids do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug abuse or addiction troubles today.