“Rushing in the door and escorting the girl, barely out of her teens, to be treated for severe heroin withdrawal. She was crying and screaming, holding her stomach in pain.
“While at her side, I intently watched the E.R. team move to restore this young life. They searched for a vein, but could not find one. Her veins were not functioning to transport the anti-withdrawal medicine. They were worn from heroin use.
“Medical staff checked between her fingers and toes, working endlessly to find a vein so that treatment could be administered to counteract the painful heroin withdrawals. Not making any progress, the E.R. doctor was called to administer the medication through her jugular vein. The doctor tilted the bed so that her feet were elevated above her head. The screaming and thrashing started to subside.”
Sadly, this is only one story out of thousands that are repeatedly taking place on a daily basis. Starfish Project officials said the drug epidemic is crushing those with addictions and their families.
It is a difficult battle to overcome, but “as the boy continued to throw the starfish on the beach back into the ocean he smiled at the man who criticized his earnest efforts in saving the fish, and told him, ‘I made a difference for this one.’”
The Starfish Project Inc. of Huron and Erie Counties was created by concerned community members and pastors in hopes of providing funds to enable individuals with life-controlling issues, such as drug addiction, to participate in the Teen Challenge program and obtain a healthy life of recovery and spirituality. Teen Challenge is an intense, Christian-based program that lasts one year to 18 months for people of all ages with life-controlling addictions.
“Relapse can kill. Most of the time, opiate withdrawal does not present even a small risk of death occurring. The user may think they will die. The biggest risk is relapse and this can kill,” Starfish Project officials said.
Who is your starfish to rescue? You can contact the Starfish Project at P.O. Box 272, Norwalk, Ohio 44857 or go to http://starfishproject-huroncountyohio.com/live. Also, check out “Starfish Project (Huron County, Ohio)” on Facebook or if you are a resident of Richland County, look for “Starfish Project of Richland County, Inc.”
Starfish stands for: S (social and mental adjustment), T (Teen Challenge advantage), A (adult challenge advantage), R (recovery), F (faith-based solutions), I (intervention education), S (support and spirituality) and H (hope).
• Intense withdrawal symptoms can last five to seven days
• Stomach cramps
• Cannot remain calm
Risks of withdrawal:
• Spike in blood pressure and temperature
• Rapid heart beat
• Anxiety and paranoia
• Pain that can lead to adverse reactions
Source: Starfish Project Inc. of Huron and Erie Counties