Last month’s death of the famed Vegas entertainer Danny Gans has been ruled an accident by Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy. The extremely talented Mr. Gans died from an overdose of hydromorphone, common brand name Diluadid, which is a very powerful prescription pain killer. Proving once again that the stigma of possible drug abuse can be greater than even the grief of death, supporters of Mr. Gans want to assure the public that he did not have a problem with substance abuse.
Fifteen seconds left- I need to make my points in a hurry. Alternative sentencing, drug court, and treatment instead of incarceration matter little if people are too ashamed to ask for help. Stop the stigma. The man dies from an overdose of the Lexus of abused pain killers, doesn’t have a prescription, and yet people still say surely it’s not abuse. Open your eyes! Anyone can be a drug abuser and most of us at one time or another fit the bill- so why should it be so embarrassing?
For a nation so at ease with and accepting of illicit and prescription drugs, it is amazing at how quick attitudes change once someone experiences a substance problem (DUI, possession, addiction, OD).