The Dangers of Drug Overdose
Table of Contents
What is a Drug Overdose?
Overdose fatalities in the U.S. continue to rise, primarily due to an increase in non-medical uses of prescription meds, with fentanyl as the leading culprit. In the US, there were over one hundred thousand overdose-related deaths between 2020 and 2021.1
Overdosing on drugs may happen accidentally or on purpose. They happen when a person consumes more than what is prescribed by a doctor, or if they mix substances with others and take them at the same time.
However, certain people could be more sensitive to particular drugs than others. Thus, a dosage still within the range of authorized medical usage might be too much for their systems to take.
What Does Overdosing Feel Like?
This is very dependent on both the kind of drug that was used and the person who is using it. People who drink excessively and often, for example, may still lose their ability to be conscious of what they’re doing, but their body is much more used to the substance and knows how to process it more so than someone who doesn’t drink.
Drug Overdose Symptoms
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramping
- Difficulty breathing, or shorter breaths
- The inability to move with precision and control
- Irregular heartbeat
- Drug-induced coma
- Muscle convulsions or tremors
- Pain in the chest and panic
- Any range of extreme mental states, such as paranoia, anxiety, and delirium
The Dangers of a Drug Overdose
What Happens Inside the Body During an Overdose?
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Overdose
The associated symptoms of an overdose with certain drug types, such as opioid painkillers, may be significantly different from those of other narcotics.
However, common drug overdose symptoms may include:2
- Lack of oxygen flow to extremities, resulting in a blue tint to lips or fingers
- Chest pain
- Vomiting or nausea
- Dilated pupils
- Breathing difficulties
- Trouble walking
- Aggressive and violent actions
- An unexpectedly high body temperature
What Drugs Do People Overdose On?
Long-Term Effects of an Overdose
During an overdose of drugs, a person’s symptoms will vary depending on the chemical they’ve taken. Taking too much of a single drug may cause an overdose, but it is possible to have an accidental overdose by ingesting many different drugs simultaneously.
The long-term effects of overdose will be detailed below.
Emotional and Mental Health Issues
People who misuse drugs or overdose may exhibit one or more signs of other mental diseases like depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and attempts after surviving the overdose.
Risks & Causes of Overdose of Drugs
Low Drug Tolerance
Methods of Consumption
Mental Health Issues
Overdoses, both deadly and non-fatal, may occur at higher rates among people who are depressed. PTSD or other mental illnesses may also increase an individual’s risk of overdosing.
Impurity of Certain Drugs
Mixing Medications or Ingesting Too Much
Other Medical Conditions
How to Prevent or Avoid an Overdose of Drugs
There are many overdose prevention measures one can take and be aware of. These measures can include making sure you know how to use medications safely and always reading prescription labels before taking drugs.
Also, only take prescription meds exactly as directed by your doctor, and do not take any medications unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
Communicate With Your Healthcare Provider
Get Help for Drug Overdose at Ripple Ranch
Prescription drug overdoses are now endemic in the US. However, with the assistance of a competent drug overdose treatment program, it’s indeed possible to prevent an overdose from occurring. Early treatment is the best way to avoid the long-term effects of an overdose.
Get in contact with Ripple Ranch if you or someone you know is battling with substance misuse or displaying symptoms of a drug overdose.