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Prescription For Progress: Who's To Blame?

April 22, 2018 05:12 PM

When Sean Murdick was really little he wanted to be Superman. But Murdick, a compassionate guy with a big heart, was no match for heroin.

He was felled by an overdose at just 22 years of age. It all started with a broken arm three years before.

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“They set his arm and gave him a script. And so began our journey,” said Kim Murdick, Sean's mother.

The script was a 30 day supply of Oxycodone.

“After 30 days he was addicted. He was hooked,” Kim said.

Sean's story is all too familiar. The findings of a new Siena College Research Institute poll show most believe doctors over prescribe opioids. Pharmaceutical companies promote the legal drugs without fully warning about the risks and allow patients access to too many pain pills.

The Siena survey also finds most of us think there's a lack of public awareness programs about the dangers of opioids.

Kim and her husband Tim are working to fill that gap. Following Sean's death, the Murdick's started NoPiates with the help of others in their West Sand Lake community.

Wherever young adults gather you'll find the Murdicks, like a health program at The College of Saint Rose. That they have a lifesaving message is an understatement.

“We want to educate, advocate, support and prevent,” Kim said.

Of the almost 1,400 who responded to the Siena survey about 40 percent think addiction is a moral failing. Kim just shakes her head at that. It's a disease, she says, and it affects the entire family. She warned her kids about alcohol and drugs, so she thought they were somehow safe.

“Not my kid... I'm here to tell you it was my kid,” Kim said.

The survey also finds people believe there's not enough attention paid by federal law enforcement to opioid abuse and we should increase the severity of sentences for those convicted for trafficking in illegal opioids.

But the fact remains battling the crisis will take a very long time. Even for those who get into treatment, like Sean, there's no simple cure.

“Addiction is a lifelong journey,” Kim said.

More on the survey:

Statewide crosstabs       

Capital District crosstabs

Prescription For Progress Data Release

Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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