Hopping onto my soap box.
Hot in the news recently is one former professional basketball player who, it was reported, may have (or may not have) taken an “accidental overdose” on the popular prescription sleep medication Lunesta. It was reported that this player had “accidentally” consumed 10 tablets.
The rest of this may be read on the internet in various places and I will spare you all the details, because if you read this blog, you 1) probably have a home page with newsy items and 2) have already heard about it, and 3) the specifics are rather sketchy and undefined.
What gets my white coat in a knot is the constant use of the word “accidental” immediately before the word “overdose”. An accident is an incidental event that is not premeditated that results in unintended consequences. It is an accident when you step on a rake and it whaps you in the face. It is an accident when you back out of the driveway at the same time your neighbor across the street does and you meet in the middle of the street. It is also an accident if you leave your purse in a restaurant. They are not premeditated, they were not intended and usually resulted in some consequence.
It is not however an accident if you pour 10 tablets of Lunesta into your hand, grab a glass of water and swallow them. It may be stupid and irrational, but its not accidental. It IS an accident if a child consumes 10 lunesta because they look like Skittles.
This event was purely intentional. Whether he changed his mind, or whether his family intervened may never come out to the public, (and it doesn’t matter) but this kind of overdose is a premeditated event, that occurs when somebody feels the need to do something desperate. I dont know what the directions were on that bottle but I can guess: “1 at bedtime if needed?” “1-2 at bedtime if needed?” Its a safe bet that it didn’t say “take 10 tabs…..”
There are a lot of words to describe this kind of overdose: Sad, pathetic, unfortunate, are just a few. But leave the word “accident” out of it.
Off the soapbox for now.