What Doesn’t Kill You Can Maim: Unexpected Injuries From Opioids

The trouble started for Lisa when she took a blood pressure pill and one to control seizures, along with methadone, a drug used to help wean patients off heroin.

“I inadvertently did the methadone cocktail and I went to sleep for like 48 hours,” Lisa says, rolling her eyes and coughing out a laugh. “It kicked my butt. It really kicked my butt.”

The last thing this 46-year-old Somerville, Mass., native remembers is starting to do laundry. That’s where Lisa’s daughter found her — passed out on the washing machine.

“My daughter brought me up and put me to bed. I hate the fact that she saw me like that,” says Lisa. We’re not using her last name because she’s used illegal drugs and fears going public about that could harm job prospects.

Lisa lay in the same position on the bed, one leg bent under her body, arms folded across her chest, for more than a day. Family members checked to make sure she was still breathing. Lisa’s daughter noticed that her mom’s right leg had gone white and looked shriveled.

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