Angels Pitcher’s Death From Lethal Combination of Opioids, Alcohol, and Fentanyl

Angels Pitcher’s Death From Lethal Combination of Opioids, Alcohol, and Fentanyl

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

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. 

Finding Tyler Skaggs

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. 

Drugs Found in Tyler Skaggs

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. 

Mysteries Surrounding Tyler Skaggs’ Death

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.

Attorney Rusty Hardin

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.

After Tyler Skaggs’ Death

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. 

What We Can Learn From Tyler Skaggs’ Death

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.


How to Say No to Alcohol

How to Say No to Alcohol

It may be hard to say no when someone offers you a drink at a party. You may feel obligated to accept the drink because you do not want to be rude or stick out if you are the only one at the party who is not drinking. By saying no to a drink, you will feel confident about yourself that you have control over a substance that is tempting for others to have despite the negative consequences it may bring.

Say You Are Driving

If you got to a party or a social gathering by driving yourself, you do not want to risk feel tipsy while behind the wheel. If a host offers you a drink, let them know that you need to be in good health to drive yourself home. You can also volunteer to be a designated driver to a friend who is going with you to this social gathering so that you do not have to feel pressured to drink and can just enjoy time with your friends without alcohol. If the host is still pressuring you to drink despite you telling them about your responsibilities as a designated driving, it shows that they do not care about your safety and are not worth talking to. Even if the host tells you that you will be safe as long as you stay under the limit, you will still be impaired and it is not worth endangering your life.

Say You Just Finished a Drink

If the host or a friend offers you to have another drink after you have just finished your first, let them know that you already had one drink and you do not want one anymore. This will show that you do not want to be a compulsive drinker and that you do not want to overdo it. Others may be inspired to follow suit if you show that you want to be in control of your alcohol consumption. It may be possible that you will have a friend further persuade you to drink more by telling you that if you had one drink, you can have another. The truth is that all that friend is proving is that they are a compulsive and pushy drinker themselves and who you should not be like. Not everyone wants to have another drink after they have just had one as everyone knows how much their body can handle. Sometimes, one drink can hit you like a ton of bricks. If you tell someone you will feel sick if you have another, they should respect your judgment and not push.

Say You Have Had Enough for Tonight

If you want to be in control of your drinking and set a limit based on your blood alcohol concentration, then tell the host or friend that you have had enough for tonight. If you keep this up each time you are with your friends, they will start to understand what your limit is and not bother you about it. If you are trying to quit drinking, medical professionals tell you not to quit cold turkey or you will experience serious withdrawal symptoms. Let your friends know that you are at a certain limit as you are continuing to cut back until it is safe to stop drinking alcohol completely. You have a right to control your limit and it should not hurt others to stand by this responsible decision.

Say You Want a Clear Head

Drinking tends to give you groggy thoughts if done in excess. Alcohol can take hours to be removed from your system which will make you still be intoxicated the next morning. Let your host or friend know that you do not want to drink because you want to keep a clear head. You can let them know that you have to work early tomorrow and want to be in good health by the time you wake up. There is also nothing wrong with telling them that you do not want to experience the unpleasantness of a hangover. This is a great way of letting others know that you refuse to let alcohol control your day to day life. If you are a student, let them know that you cannot drink too much today because you have a test tomorrow morning that you want to be in the right mindframe to take or that you plan on having a cram session the next morning.

Say You Are Taking Medication That Cannot Be Mixed with Alcohol

A host or a friend will not pressure you to drink if you let them know you are taking medication that can be conflicted with alcohol. The combination of over-the-counter medication and alcohol can have a deadly effect. Alcohol can also mask the effects that the medication is supposed to give you. For example, if you drink alcohol and take antidepressants, the antidepressants will not help with your anxiety or depression which will make you feel even more depressed or anxious.

Say You Do Not Drink

To put it simply, let your friend or host know that you do not drink. It is possible that you may be demanded an explanation, but that does not mean that you have to give one. By having the courage to refuse a drink from someone, you have a better chance of being healthy and enjoying yourself without worrying about the after effects.

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 be 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.


What To Do If Your Friend is Passed Out Drunk

What To Do If Your Friend is Passed Out Drunk

It is very common to see a friend pass out after a night of heavy drinking. The Centers for Disease Control says that six people die every day from alcohol poisoning. Instead of assuming that your friend needs to sleep off the alcoholic effects, it is important for you to treat him or her to better save their life from alcohol poisoning.

Reasons People Pass Out When Drunk

Alcohol is a depressant that impacts the central nervous system which consists of your brain and spinal cord. This explains why heavy drinking causes you to make poor judgments as well as having trouble staying alert. Alcohol tends to release a huge amount of dopamine which is what makes you feel good. But the more you drink, the more your body builds up adenosine which makes you tired. Alcohol also affects the neurotransmitter glutamate which affects your brain function where you have trouble with your breathing and heart rate, making alcohol intoxication more dangerous. You could be drunk and hit your head and feel like you are fine to drive until you crash your car and choke on your own vomit.

If you spend time with someone who drinks four or more drinks in one sitting, you should inform them about how many drinks can result in a dangerous blood alcohol count. A standard beer is 12 ounces, wine is five ounces, and 80 proof spirits like rum or tequila is 1.5 ounces. Keep in mind how much your friend has eaten and how your body metabolizes alcohol.

What to Do If Your Friend Does Not Wake Up

It is easy to wake someone up if they are simply sleeping off their alcohol. Someone unconscious as a result of the alcohol can be harder. Susan Stoner, Ph.D., a research consultant at the University of Washington Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, says that if calling your friend’s name and rubbing their shoulders does not work, rub their sternum with your knuckles or pinch their earlobes to cause a little pain to wake them up. If they are still not responsive, they are most likely unconscious and could be at risk of death.

Other signs that your friend has overdosed on alcohol and needs medical attention is if they have clammy skin, confusion, pale skin, low body temperature, seizures, vomiting, trouble breathing, pausing for ten or more seconds between breaths, and reduced physical responses like the lack of a gag reflex that prevents choking. Do not take too long to decide whether or not to call 911 as not doing anything can increase your friend’s chances of death. Check for if your friend is breathing or able to respond to any of your attempts at waking them up. If your friend is vomiting while unconscious, turn your friend to their side or forward so that they do not choke. When emergency responders come, tell them everything that they need to know about your friend such as how much they drank, the kind of alcohol, any other drugs, a certain medical condition they have, and anything else that can be helpful for medical professionals to treat your friend.

Look After Your Friend

Alcohol is going to continue to leak from your friend’s stomach and small intestine into their bloodstream, causing their blood alcohol level to rise even after they have stopped drinking. If you think that your friend is simply sleeping off the alcohol, you may return hours later to see that your friend has stopped breathing or has choked on their own vomit. To see for sure if your friend is suffering from alcohol poisoning, check if they have impaired speech or motor skills, cannot drive, poor decision making, blacking out, vomiting, or losing consciousness. As soon as you notice these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

You should also make sure not to leave your friend alone. If this is happening at a party with a lot of people, you want to make sure that someone is not going to come along and take advantage of your friend through sexual assault. Do not be afraid to take you and your friend away from the situation by driving your friend home. If someone dropped you off to the party, call your ride or call a Lyft or an Uber to pick you and your friend up. Make sure that your location settings are on and to always have your phone charged.

How to Avoid Passing Out From Alcohol

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines says that drinking in moderation means that women should be drinking no more than one drink a day and no more than two drinks for men. In order to stay as safe as possible from passing out drunk, you should switch between an alcoholic beverage and a glass of water. The same goes for food as you should not have only alcohol in your system. Eat before and while you are drinking so that you do not absorb the alcohol too quickly. Only have no more than one drink every hour. You should also make sure that you communicate with your friend of how many drinks should be the limit. If you are both aware of what your body can and cannot handle, do not increase the number of drinks. By not leaving your friend alone and calling 911 if your friend passes out, you could be saving a life.

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 be 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.


Alcohol and Cancer

Alcohol and Cancer

Alcohol may seem like a harmless drink even if you only drink socially. The truth is that according to the National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, alcohol is a known carcinogen. Going into treatment for alcoholism will show you taking control of your body and will lower your chances of developing cancer.

Even a modest drinker who has only had one drink a day still has a chance of increasing the risks of some cancers. There are many types of cancers that you can contract such as liver cancer. You could get cirrhosis which is the scarring and inflammation of the liver. Healthy tissue gets replaced by scar tissue which prevents the liver to function the right way. Alcohol can also affect estrogen levels by changing the way your body metabolizes them, leading to breast cancer. Very Well Health says that 75% of people with oral cancer are drinkers and the chances can go even higher if you smoke as well. Other cancers can include throat, esophageal, laryngeal, colon and rectal cancer.

Alcohol has the potential to give someone cancer because of ethanol and acetaldehyde. Ethanol is the main ingredient in alcohol and acetaldehyde is created once alcohol is digested in the body. Drinking can weaken the body’s ability to process and absorb important nutrients like Vitamin A, C, D, E, folate, and carotenoids. Folate is a vitamin that cells in the body needs to stay healthy. Heavy drinkers tend to have low levels of folate which can play a role in breast and colorectal cancer. The cells that are damaged by alcohol try to fix themselves which leads to changes in DNA that lead to cancer. Bacteria in the colon and rectum converts alcohol into large amounts of acetaldehyde. Alcohol can also lead to excessive weight gain as extra calories are being added to your diet increasing the risks of many different types of cancer that comes from obesity.

If you quit drinking alcohol right away, it will not lead to an immediate reduction in cancer risk. Eventually, the cancer risks will decline if you continue towards your path of sobriety but it could take years before the risk goes away. For example, The International Journal of Cancer says that people who stopped drinking still had high risks of oral cavity and pharyngeal cancers than people who never drank even 16 years after they stopped. The chances, however, were still lower compared to when they started.

The type of alcoholic beverages are not going to matter in terms of contracting cancer. Ethanol is an ingredient found in all alcoholic beverages. The larger or stronger the drink, the more ethanol there will be and the more your risk of cancer will be. There will never be a way to completely prevent the risk of ever getting cancer but there are ways to prevent your chances of cancer as a result of alcohol. The obvious way to avoid alcohol-related cancer would be to not touch a drop of alcohol. Try to avoid going to bars or meeting friends who drink in front of you. Let them know that you simply are not interesting in drinking alcohol and would prefer a non-alcoholic beverage like water, soda, coffee, tea, or juice. If it is too late for that, limit the number of alcoholic beverages you consume. The American Cancer Society recommends that men only have no more than two drinks per day and women should have no more than one. An average beer is 12 oz, a bottle of wine is 5 oz, and a bottle of liquor is 1.5 oz. If you are a woman and are afraid of getting breast cancer, you should have no more than four drinks a week.

Another thing that you should avoid doing is binge drinking even if it is just for one night. One night has the power to change the rest of your life. If you are a woman, it means not having four drinks within a short period of time. Men should not have five or more drinks in a short period of time. You should also avoid mixing alcohol with tobacco products as that will increase your chances of cancers like oral cavity, larynx, pharynx, and esophagus. Eating more foods with folate can help reduce cancer risks like leafy green vegetables, fruit, dried beans, and peas. If you have any questions or concerns about your alcohol intake, speak to your doctor to see if you can rule out cancer.

If you are currently in cancer treatment, you should avoid alcohol as even small amounts can irritate mouth sores caused by cancer treatments and can even make them worse. Alcohol can also conflict with certain cancer treatments which can cause serious side effects. Even if you decide to relapse after surviving cancer, it does not mean that you will never get cancer again as you can get a different kind. It is important to ask yourself whether drinking alcohol is more important than contracting a fatal disease. Think about the family and friends that you have who would hate to see you ill or die as a result of an addictive substance that you could have gone into treatment for. By not touching alcohol or going into treatment if you have, you are taking control of your body and will lead a long, healthy life.

Through years of experience working with art and music therapy, we know how powerfully beneficial they are in healing and relapse prevention. Call Enlightened Solutions today: (833) 801-LIVE.