The Grim Reality –
Sept. 24, 2018 – Though he knows few details about his donor, he was told the 21-year-old man died of an opioid overdose. And it weighs on him. “It’s kind of a quagmire, to be honest with you,” he says. “I can’t imagine a family losing a child in that way.” While the number of opioid overdose deaths nationwide has doubled since 2008, the number of those victims who have become organ donors has quadrupled. Partially as a result of the newly available organs from overdose deaths, the list of people waiting for transplants — nearly 124,000 at its peak in 2014 — has begun to shrink for the first time, after 25 years of continuous growth.