Amy Theismann was a 43-year-old woman from Pompano Beach, Florida, who died on March 29, 2016. She was the daughter of former NFL quarterback and broadcaster Joe Theismann and his ex-wife Shari Brown. She was also a loving mother, sister, aunt, and friend who enjoyed horses, children, and her family. But what was Amy Theismann’s cause of death? How did she die so suddenly and unexpectedly?
A Fatal Overdose of Prescription Drugs
Amy Theismann died of a fatal overdose of prescription drugs. She had been prescribed medication for her chronic pain and anxiety, but she took more than the recommended dose, which proved to be deadly. Her family and friends were shocked and devastated by her sudden death, as they did not know she was struggling with addiction.
Amy Theismann’s death is not an isolated case. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 67,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2018, and nearly 70% of them involved opioids. Prescription opioids, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, are commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain, but they can also be highly addictive and dangerous if misused or abused. Some people may take more than the prescribed amount, combine them with other drugs or alcohol, or obtain them from illegal sources. These behaviors can increase the risk of overdose, which can cause respiratory depression, coma, and death.
The Signs and Symptoms of Drug Overdose
Drug overdose is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Some of the signs and symptoms of drug overdose include:
- Loss of consciousness or unresponsiveness
- Slow, shallow, or irregular breathing
- Bluish or pale skin, lips, or fingernails
- Dilated or pinpoint pupils
- Chest pain or tightness
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Confusion, agitation, or paranoia
- Seizures or convulsions
- Low blood pressure or weak pulse
If you suspect someone is overdosing, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Do not leave the person alone, and try to keep them awake and breathing. If you have naloxone, a medication that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose, administer it as instructed. Naloxone is available in some states without a prescription, and it can be obtained from pharmacies, health clinics, or community organizations. Naloxone can save lives, but it is not a substitute for professional medical care.
The Prevention and Treatment of Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is a chronic and complex disease that affects the brain and behavior. It can be influenced by genetic, environmental, and psychological factors, and it can be difficult to overcome without help. However, drug addiction is not a moral failing or a character flaw, and it can be prevented and treated.
Some of the ways to prevent drug addiction include:
- Educating yourself and others about the risks and consequences of drug use
- Avoiding peer pressure and negative influences
- Seeking help for mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma
- Managing stress and coping with challenges in healthy ways
- Finding positive hobbies and activities that bring you joy and fulfillment
- Building a strong support network of family, friends, and professionals
Some of the ways to treat drug addiction include:
- Admitting that you have a problem and seeking help
- Consulting a doctor or a substance abuse counselor for an assessment and a treatment plan
- Detoxifying from the drugs under medical supervision
- Participating in behavioral therapy, counseling, or support groups
- Taking medication-assisted treatment, if appropriate, to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms
- Following a relapse prevention plan and avoiding triggers
- Maintaining a sober lifestyle and a recovery-oriented mindset
A Tribute to Amy Theismann
Amy Theismann was a beloved daughter, mother, sister, aunt, and friend who touched many lives with her kindness and humor. She was also a victim of drug addiction, a disease that claimed her life too soon. Her death is a tragic reminder of the dangers of prescription drug abuse and the need for more awareness and action. We hope that her story will inspire others to seek help and hope, and to honor her memory by living their best lives. Rest in peace, Amy Theismann. You will be missed.