According to the New York Post, a 69-year-old mother in New York died after cleaning up the bathroom where her son fatally overdosed. Authorities believe she may have come in contact with a highly toxic substance while cleaning up her son’s paraphernalia. She went to the same hospital her son had gone to only the day before and subsequently died one day before him.
This is truly tragic, and our hearts go out to the family. It highlights an important point about being very careful if coming into contact with someone’s unknown substances or paraphernalia. We often ask loved ones to help our clients by cleaning out their substances. We encourage them to be careful not to get poked by needles (which can contain communicable diseases) or to accidentally inhale or ingest unknown substances.
If you don’t know what a substance is, we encourage you to be cautious and contact the authorities. Substances can be very strong, and someone not used to them may not be able to withstand even a minor exposure. The link to the article is below. Details will hopefully continue to emerge so we can get a clearer picture of what happened.
Sarah Zucker, Psy.D.
Psychologist, AToN Center