Thousands of people in the United States experience a drug overdose every year, and many die from it. Preventing overdose is essential, whether the substance is an illicit material or a prescription drug. Both are responsible for a bulk of professional addiction treatment options in the country, along with related programs like medical detox.
Getting help and facing a substance use disorder head-on is one of the best ways to get started on drug overdose prevention. Call Midwest Detox Center at 833.647.0392 or contact us online to learn more.
5 Best Ways to Prevent a Drug Overdose
When there’s too much of an illicit or prescription drug in the body, an overdose can happen. In situations like this, the brain will become overwhelmed and will not send necessary signals to other parts of the body.
Overdoses are often accidental. They happen when someone consumes too much of an abused substance by mistake. However, an overdose can also be intentional if someone deliberately uses too much of a drug to hurt themselves. In either case, an overdose will create a range of health problems. The extremes of these problems can result in severe injuries or even death. However, there are several ways to prevent overdoses from occurring.
1. Always Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Did you know that failing to follow doctor’s orders is one of the leading causes of healthcare cost increases? Some patients don’t trust their doctor’s diagnosis and advice. Others aren’t disciplined enough to use prescription drugs as ordered. In all cases of patients testing the boundaries of their medication and their doctor’s orders, they increase their chances of falling into drug addiction and suffering from an overdose.
If a doctor prescribed medication for any condition of yours, make sure you follow their orders when using the drugs. Listen to your pharmacist’s recommendations, too. If you have any concerns or questions about a drug’s side effects and ideal dosage, always ask your doctor for more information.
2. Avoid Drinking While Taking Your Medication
Drug overdose can quickly occur when you’re combining drugs with alcohol. Taking multiple medications at a time can be dangerous, too. Powerful prescription drugs like benzos and opioids can alter brain function when you take them. For instance, adding alcohol to your system at the same time can either counter or strengthen the effects of prescription drugs. You may feel life-threatening side effects and experience complicated brain functions because of this. If you drink while taking opioids, your brain and central nervous system (CNS) can slow down significantly.
Regularly drinking alcohol while taking opioids can eventually lead to alcohol and drug addiction. Your brain will become accustomed to both substances. Therefore, you might not realize when you’re already taking too many drugs for your body to process correctly.
3. Unless Your Doctor Says You Need It, Don’t Extend Your Prescription
Most prescription medications that patients abuse, such as opioids and benzos, are designed for short-term use. This is because medical experts now know that there is a high risk of developing addictions when using drugs like these. The longer you take medications like opioids and benzos, the more likely you will eventually need to seek professional help to deal with an addiction.
The best way to keep from getting addicted to a drug is to stay within your prescription timeline. If you extend your prescription beyond what your doctor ordered initially, your body could develop a tolerance to the drug’s effects. You may want to increase the dosage, along with the prescription timeline, to keep feeling the effects. This will lead to you eventually becoming dependent on the drug.
4. Keep Your Close Friends and Family Informed About Your Prescription
One of the best ways to prevent a drug overdose is setting up a personal accountability system. When your close friends and family know about your health issues and your prescription medication, they will know to watch out for drug dependence and addiction signs.
You can even develop a plan for using your prescription drugs properly, and your family can help you stick to it by calling you out when you don’t follow it. You can also discuss the possibility of side effects and also what they can do if an accidental overdose occurs. When you’re not the only one who knows you have access to a highly addictive drug, it’s easier to use it as prescribed and not form a dependence on it.
5. If Necessary, Don’t Hesitate To Get Help at a Drug Treatment Center
If you feel like you are forming a dependency on a drug, don’t wait until you’re fully addicted. Drug overdose prevention is crucial because it could end in severe injury or death. Tell your close friends or family and let them help you seek professional help right away.
With the right treatment program, you can overcome any drug dependency and significantly reduce your chances of going through a drug overdose. You may go through a medical detox and even get inpatient treatment, but at least you’ll be on your way to long-term recovery.