There is always a chance that your addiction can kill you if you do not get help for it. Combining two or more drugs together can increase those chances. Angels pitcher, Tyler Skaggs, died recently from opioid, alcohol, and fentanyl overdose which can teach us just how grave and lethal the combination can be if you do not get help.
Tyler Skaggs was a popular player of the Angels and one of their most reliable pitchers of the season. He suffered a lot of injuries last season such as his elbow. He worked with mobility coach Sarah Howard in Los Angeles and renowned strength coach Eric Cressey. This year, Skaggs experienced soreness in the forearm after experimenting with a new pitch during Spring training and missed a start. He also injured his ankle in an April game against the Chicago Cubs.
Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died in his hotel room on July 1st with opioids, fentanyl, and alcohol in his system. The Angels were staying at a hotel in Southlake ahead of a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. Skaggs’ body was found the day after the team arrived at 2:18 pm when a teammate was concerned about Skaggs not returning his calls or texts about meeting him for lunch.
Fentanyl was one of the drugs found in Skaggs’ system. It is a powerful synthetic opioid that works like morphine but 50-100 times more powerful. If you take this drug in uncontrolled concentrations or if your opioid tolerance is not tolerant of long-term use, you are more likely to have breathing suppression, as well as death, occur to you. There were 3.8 nanograms per millimeter of fentanyl in Skaggs’ system which is a huge amount. There were levels of over 100 in his system.
There were also 38 nanograms per millimeter of the prescription-strength painkiller oxycodone which is prohibited by Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program since it is considered a “drug of abuse” on the federal Drug Enforcement Administration list. There was a blood alcohol level of 0.122%. Having 0.08% is considered legally impaired.
It was said that the cause of Skaggs’ death was a mixture of alcohol, fentanyl, and oxycodone intoxication “with terminal aspiration of gastric contents.” This means that Skaggs choked on his own vomit while under the influence. His death was ruled as an accident and was found in his bed fully clothed with no signs of trauma. His family believes that an employee of the Angels team had something to do with his death. They released a statement of how heartbroken they were to learn that Skaggs died of a combination of these drugs and how out of character it was of him for someone trying to make it as a major league baseball player. The family believes that an employee of the Angels supplied these drugs to Skaggs.
Rusty Hardin is a renowned criminal defense attorney who has represented athletes like Roger Clemens who was accused of lying before Congress over alleged steroid use. Hardin is determined to provide answers to Skaggs’ wife and family about what happened and how it happened. He wants to know how he acquired those drugs and if others are responsible for what happened. It is unfortunately too early to speculate if there are grounds for legal action.
Players paid tribute to Skaggs by etching his initials and jersey number onto their hats and into the dirt on the mounds. Teammate Andrew Heaney threw Skaggs’ signature curveball when opening his first start. Angels player Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella wore Skaggs’ number underneath their last names and others wore No. 45 patches. In the first home game after Skaggs’ death, the Angels wore No. 45 jerseys with the name Skaggs on the back during the July 12th game against Seattle. Skaggs’ mother, Debbie, threw a strike for the ceremonial first pitch after a 45-second moment of silence. When the game was over, the players arranged their jerseys on the ground and said a prayer for Skaggs and the jerseys were left there.
Hundreds paid tribute to Skaggs at a memorial service at the St. Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica. He was thought of as a passionate and caring man. Skaggs’ wife spoke of their love and family members and friends shared their goofiest and heartwarming memories with him.
Tyler Skaggs’ was a major league baseball player that had a hidden addiction. Family members and teammates had no idea that he was struggling with addiction and were shocked at the discovery. Unfortunately, Skaggs did not seek out help which led to his untimely demise. The circumstances around Skaggs’ death does not change the man he was when he was alive or how talented he was. Because there is a big stigma surrounding addiction, especially in the sports community, not enough players get the help they need. If you are struggling with addiction or know someone who is, no matter what profession they are in, it is important to make sure they receive the tools they need to continue to live. Tyler Skaggs’ death should teach everyone how common addiction and overdoses are as well as how lethal the combination is of alcohol, oxycodone, and fentanyl.
Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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