Guest column: Death by young age, not old age, hits too close to home

FAMILY PHOTO 
 Son Andrew and mom Gail Archer in 2011 in Washington.

FAMILY PHOTO Son Andrew and mom Gail Archer in 2011 in Washington.

By Scott and Gail Archer

Naples

A year ago we received a call from the coroner informing us that our 27-year-old son, who had no known serious health issues, was found dead by a roommate in Bozeman, MT.

Andrew Scott Archer was widely known as caring, generous and the guy everyone wanted to hang with. He was really fun.

He died of complications of young age — sort of like dying of old age, but with a different roster of potential causes.

The existence of this New Age phenomenon occurred to us as a by-product of reflecting on our son’s life and death. Similar to most people of our generation, had we not been directly affected, we would be largely unaware of how pervasive death in young age has become.

The subject understandably tends to receive taboo treatment. We thought sharing our newfound awareness might operate to prevent future occurrence. When people say “they can’t imagine” ... they are absolutely correct. They can’t.

It is important to review some of the newer causes of death from young age.

Binge drinking and taking shots have now taken preference over beers.

Energy drinks caused 3,800 documented emergency room admissions last year, about 70 percent of which were combined with shots — such as shot glasses of liquor. Some medical authorities believe they caused terminal cardiac events.

Workout enhancement formulas — the favorite, Jack3D (as in get jacked), has been banned for sale on U.S. Army posts after suspicious deaths. These substances are not subject to any Food and Drug Administration regulations.

Prescription drugs and pain killers and formulations that help improve focus and better test results may lead to the now epidemic abuse of hydrocodone and OxyContin and other opioids.

Synthetic drugs (bath salts, K2, Spice), which some law enforcement officials have labeled “meth on steroids,” are available in convenience stores, smoke shops and online.

Bullying and hazing have resulted in the most serious of unintended consequences.

Wishing there was something you could do after a death from “young age” is nice. Actually doing something is even better. Awareness is at your finger tips on the Internet.

© 2013 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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