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November 9, 2015

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer fullback Mike "The A-Train" Alstott remains an all-time fan favorite for his accomplishments on and off the field.  He played 12 seasons as a fullback, racking up 5,088 yards rushing; 71 touchdowns (a team record); six Pro Bowls; and a 2002 Super Bowl championship.  He was also injured nearly 50 times and was given prescription painkillers to get him through the pain and back on the field.

Fortunately, Alstott, now 41 years old and a head coach for a St. Petersburg high school football team, came through it all without experiencing an overdose or becoming dependent on painkillers, something he credits to having trainers and physicians on his side who helped him understand how to take them safely.

Mike Alstott knows first-hand how opioids, when used correctly, can play an important role in managing pain and helping people to function, but he is also keenly aware of the growing crisis of opioid misuse and overdose.  More American adults are dying from misusing prescription narcotics than ever before.  An estimated 35 people die every day in the U.S. from accidental prescription painkiller overdoses resulting from things like not taking a medication as directed or not understanding how multiple drugs can interact.  "So we need an educated conversation about this," Alstott explains. "We need to be upfront, and truthful, and help people be able to start the conversation with their doctors, so they can find out what they need to know."

One of the things Alstott is doing to spread opioid safety awareness is through his taking part in the "America Starts Talking" campaign.  The America Starts Talking website offers factual information and tips on how to safely use opioids, quizzes, videos and discussion tools.  In addition, the website provides potentially lifesaving information on how to respond to an opioid-related emergency.  The pharmaceutical company Kaleo, maker of the Evzio auto-injector that's used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, is sponsoring the campaign in partnership with the American Academy of Pain Management, the American Chronic Pain Association, The Pain Community, and the U.S. Pain Foundation.  Click here to learn more from AmericaStartsTalking.com.

The attorneys at Heintz & Becker are grateful to Mike Alstott and America Starts Talking for promoting opioid safety and educating people about what to do in an emergency.  Our personal injury attorneys represent many serious accident victims who are suffering in pain from their injuries and, in addition to helping them receive the financial compensation they deserve, we can help our clients find medical professionals who specialize in safe and effective pain treatment and management.  If you need a personal injury attorney, call us today for a free consultation.

Source(s): FoxNews.com, "Former professional football player tackles dangers of opioids", posted October 27, 2015; KCBD.com, "Ex-NFL star helps spread the word on risks posed by painkillers", posted October 30, 2015

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