Sad to say, there is such a thing as too far gone. Of course, dying from an overdose is definitely too far gone. And abusing your brain to the point of no return is too far gone.

There are addicts who are called “garbage-pail addicts.” These are the people who will try anything, at any time, in any combination. These poor individuals do not have a shred of self-worth and are on a self-destructive path from which there may not be any way to return.

Oftentimes the total lack of self-caring and self-destruction is due to childhood abuse, and the subsequent desire for self-punishment is because they have misinterpreted the abuse as being their fault. Seeing these addicts self-destruct is heart-wrenching, and they wind up on the streets, living a life of homelessness, where abuse is just part of daily life.

There have been therapists who have told me that some could be saved with enough therapy, live-in treatment, medically assisted lives, but the odds remain not good. Those of us in this field and people just going about daily lives have seen people who are so “spaced” that clearly there is no way back to normal brain functioning. They are truly lost souls, and that is a startling reality. We have seen these unfortunate souls on the streets wandering, babbling, and not in their right minds. Too far gone.

So yes, there is such a thing as too far gone. A wasted life. The drugs being the biggest dream stealer and often the stealer of life itself.

While most overdoses are accidental—because no one is trying to commit suicide—some overdoses are just waiting to happen because of the high-risk behavior of using whatever is available in whatever amount available. To keep this horrendous event from happening, we have to do more to educate children at very young ages. We have to be better at recognizing clues of child abuse and step in. We must get to them before the street gets to them. We have to demand more from law enforcement, from the government’s drug czar office, from border patrol, and more, much more, from ourselves.