Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Rant #100: Accidental, My Foot!
The way words are used in our language is often tied into different trends that shape these words that we use. This also extends to the use of phrases that tie together words to have meanings that are also based on current trends.
Case in point is the use of the word “accidental” when referring to drug overdoses. If I hear “accidental” and “overdose” used in the same sentence one more time to lessen the gravity of what the drug user did to himself, I think I might inject myself with something.
Remember the case of Adam Goldstein, better known to some as DJ AM? He died “accidentally” from a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs and cocaine, the medical examiner's office recently ruled.
The toxicology report showed the 36-year-old had several drugs in his system, some illegal, some not, when he died: cocaine, OxyContin, Hydrocodone or Vicodin, anti-anxiety drugs Xanax and Ativan, Klonopin which also controls anger, Benadryl, and Levamisole, a drug apparently used to cut cocaine.
The cause of death was acute intoxication due to the combined effects the drugs, the medical examiner's office said. The dosage of each drug was not released.
To me, there is no such thing as an accidental overdose. If you use illegal drugs, or a combination of illegal drugs and supposedly legal ones, how can you consider the death accidental?
You are putting yourself in major harm’s way by using illegal drugs and mixing these drugs, and that is what Goldstein did. Sure, I don’t think his aim was to kill himself—although I don’t think that that was ever completely ruled out either—but that is what he did.
When you use illegal drugs, they are not regulated, so you could be getting different levels of “power” when you ingest these things. You might get a good dose, you might get one that is bad—and maybe even mixed with other substances. The bottom line is that you don’t know what you are getting.
And then mix these illegal drugs with supposedly legal ones—but ones that can become deadly without a doctor prescribing them or at least watching over their usage. Even over-the-counter drugs can be lethal if used the wrong way, as the cough syrup problem that was around a few years ago showed.
Since Goldstein dealt with the devil, so to speak, when he was ingesting all of this stuff, I wouldn’t call his death accidental.
He simply played Russian Roulette—and lost.
To me, that is not accidental. That is, more to the point, taking your life in your own hands. Goldstein may have been a superb DJ, but his spins of records led to his life spinning out of control, which led to his death.
Accidental? No. Stupid? Most definitely, Y-E-S.
P.S.: 100 rants! Here's to at least 100 more!
Posted by Larry at 4:30 AM