Did you know that drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the entire United States? That’s why drug overdose prevention is more important than ever.
Common drug overdose instances in Ohio and other states do involve drugs that aren’t typically misused to the point of addiction. However, it’s essential to focus on helping people with drug addictions before they eventually overdose. While typical over-the-counter (OTC) drugs will have use instructions and are generally safe when taken as indicated, the same can’t be said for substances like illicit drugs.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with a substance use disorder, call Midwest Detox Center at 833.647.0392 or contact our team online. Find out more about the programs and services that can benefit you and help you recover.
Alcohol includes beer, malt liquor, and wine. There are many extensive injuries and health problems associate with alcohol misuse. In fact, more than 75,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year. The third-leading cause of death in the United States is heavy alcohol consumption.
Alcohol use causes health issues such as liver damage, hypertension, heart disease, cancer – and even fetal damage when pregnant people drink. It also increases the risk of injuries, aggressive behavior, suicide, and motor accidents. And, of course, drinking too much alcohol can also be fatal.
Sometimes called benzos, benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety medications that rank high on this list due to their high prescription rate and the high risk of deadly respiratory depression that can occur when taking them. Examples of benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin.
Negative side effects of taking them are significantly increased when they’re combined with other drugs – particularly alcohol, barbiturates, and opioids.
Common antidepressants that can lead to fatal overdose include Cymbalta, Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Zoloft. These drugs are typically used to treat major depression, anxiety disorders, and other mood disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Taking these drugs long-term can result in adverse health effects. Those taking antidepressants have a 33% higher risk of dying prematurely. Additionally, people on antidepressants are 14% more likely to have an adverse cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke.
Cocaine is also known as blow, coke, and crack. It’s a strong stimulant that’s used as a recreational drug. Long-term cocaine use comes with health risks, such as:
- Unhealthy weight loss
- Heart disease
- Organ failure
- Respiratory distress
Fatal overdoses of cocaine may also involve other drugs taken at the same time, such as opioids.
Heroin is an illicit recreational opioid drug. It’s made from morphine, which is a natural substance taken from opium poppy plants. Typically snorted or injected, heroin is available as either a brown or white powder. It can also come as black tar heroin, which is a black sticky substance.
Heroin use also comes with serious health complications, such as damaged tissue inside the nose, collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining, lung complications, gastrointestinal abscesses, and kidney disease. When people overdose on heroin, their breathing may slow or stop altogether. Some variants of heroin are also stronger than others, which can cause an accidental overdose – even for people trying it for the first time.
6. Semi-Synthetic Opioids
Semi-synthetic opioids include Percocet, OxyContin, and Vicodin. These drugs are typically used as painkillers. Some of them can also be prescribed for coughing and diarrhea.
Because they’re highly addictive, there’s a high risk of misusing them and forming a dependency. Semi-synthetic opioid misuse can cause slowed breathing, which can often result in hypoxia – a condition that arises when too little oxygen reaches the brain. Hypoxia can then induce coma, permanent brain damage, and even death.
Opioids are often combined with other drugs, such as alcohol or cocaine, to increase intoxication. This practice significantly raises the risk of fatal overdose.
7. Synthetic Opioids
The most common synthetic opioid is fentanyl and its analogs, such as carfentanil. Fentanyl is an example of a synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times stronger than morphine. It’s also commonly substituted for or mixed with heroin.
People who think they are taking heroin can overdose because of the presence of fentanyl in their heroin powder.
Methamphetamine, sometimes called meth, is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is typically used as a recreational drug. People who have a meth addiction may experience an overdose because of the long-term buildup of the drug in their systems. This means that a possibly fatal overdose is possible even when a person doesn’t take a large dose. Meth overdoses also tend to involve other drugs, like opioids and synthetic narcotics.
Like cocaine and heroin, meth is illegal and therefore doesn’t go through any quality control. Two doses that can seem the same may have different effects. This can result in accidental overdoses.
Learn More About Midwest Detox Center’s Addiction Treatment Programs
Are you looking for ways to avoid common drug overdoses in Ohio? Call Midwest Detox Center at 833.647.0392 or contact our team online to find out more about our drug overdose prevention programs and services.