There are a number of reasons why an individual might begin to use drugs or alcohol. Some might turn to prescription medications or illicit drugs to feel relief from the symptoms of mental health issues. Others might develop a dependency on opioids after being prescribed a pain reliever for an illness or injury. No matter why dependency or addiction develops, getting help as soon as possible can prevent harmful outcomes. Thousands overdose every year in the United States alone. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a drug overdose can also help you reach out for help for yourself or for a loved one when necessary.
Drug overdoses can be fatal. Learn the most common symptoms of a drug overdose to keep those around you safe. Then, reach out for drug addiction treatment from a treatment center near you. For more information, call us at 833.647.0392.
What Is a Drug Overdose?
A drug overdose occurs when someone takes excess quantities of drugs that overwhelm the body. You no longer become responsive to the effects of the drug. Instead, you develop breathing difficulties that could quickly escalate into suffocation.
An overdose results from the blocking of breathing receptors by the chemicals from the drug. Once the chemicals fit into the receptors, they reduce the capacity of a person to breathe. Consequentially, the oxygen level in the body drops. Vital organs begin to strain in their functionality. Your lips and fingers may begin to turn bluish in the process.
Death occurs because the oxygen level in the body drops below the minimum requirement. Fortunately, this process may last even for hours enabling someone to help you. You might slip into a coma if no one attends to you during this period. If the people around you know about drug overdose symptoms, you stand a better chance at surviving.
Causes of Drug Overdoses
One primary cause of drug overdoses is relapsing after a period of sobriety. Someone who has stopped using drugs for a period of time might have a lower tolerance than they did previously. Ingesting the same amount of the substance could easily overwhelm the system.
Another potential cause of drug overdoses is taking a higher dose than usual. This could be intentional, if the person is seeking a stronger high, or accidental, if they misjudge the amount they need.
Overdoses can also occur when different drugs are combined, which is called polydrug use. This combination can amplify the effects of both substances and lead to dangerous consequences.
Lastly, drug overdoses can be caused by using drugs that have been laced with other substances. This is often done without the user’s knowledge, and it can be incredibly risky. It’s impossible to predict how the body will react to these unknown substances.
All of these factors can contribute to drug overdoses. It’s important to be aware of the dangers and take steps to avoid them.
Relapse prevention plans can be helpful for those who are on the road to recovery. Having a plan in place to prevent a return to drug and alcohol use can help stop overdoses before they start.
Symptoms of Overdose
A person will show different symptoms depending on the drug they are overdosing on. Some drugs have more severe symptoms than others. For instance, opioid overdose is likely to cause complications more quickly than an alcohol overdose.
Despite the disparities in the symptoms, you can check for:
- Shallow breathing, coma, respiratory arrest, and weak pulses. These are symptoms that can indicate an overdose on a central nervous depressant.
- Delirium and psychosis for an overdose on hallucinogens.
- Bluish skin, unconsciousness, constricted pupils, respiratory arrests, and clammy skin for opioid overdose.
- Hyperthermia, seizures, cardiovascular shocks, hypertension, and arrhythmia for stimulant overdoses.
- Extreme drowsiness, psychosis, tachycardia, and instability for marijuana overdoses.
- Inhalant overdose can depress the central nervous system, cause stupor, and induce a coma.
If you notice these symptoms in yourself or someone near you, reach out for help from emergency services immediately.
Help for Drug Overdoses
Medical care is necessary in the case of a drug overdose. Some medications can help reverse the effects of an overdose and can prevent death or other complications. Additionally, a drug overdose can be a potential source of trauma for the victim. That is why it is essential to treat both the overdose and its effects.
At Midwest Detox Center, the following care options are available:
- Men’s and women’s detox programs: Gender-specific programs help men and women feel comfortable during alcohol and drug detox.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This plan seeks to identify behavioral aspects that drive you towards drug abuse. It then proposes ways that you can adapt to change these behavioral aspects that trigger drug use. Reducing drug use decreases the chances of overdosing.
- Group therapy program: This a therapeutic modality of treatment. It aims to make the individual reconnect with those around them. This helps the person to break free from the isolation that traps them in the cycle of addiction.
- Alumni program: A support program that helps clients maintain recovery after treatment. This program can help reduce the chances of relapse.
Getting help for addiction before an overdose is the best way to prevent complications. Reach out for help from a treatment center near you today.
Reach Out to Midwest Detox Center Today
Don’t let drug overdose symptoms overwhelm your life or that of a loved one. You should look for assistance immediately. The power to save a life is in your hands.