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Written By Legacy Healing Center - Aug 20 2020
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An overdose occurs when a person takes more of a substance than their body’s metabolism can effectively handle. The toxic effects of an overdose can have devastating consequences, but knowing the signs and symptoms to look out for can allow for life-saving intervention.
It is possible to overdose on prescribed and illicit drugs, and it is important to remember that overdose can occur accidentally or intentionally to achieve a high. Oftentimes, overdose occurs when a person has developed a tolerance to a drug and uses more of it to get the desired effects.
Of the 67,367 overdose deaths that occurred in the US in 2018, 69.5% of these fatalities were due to synthetic opioids, specifically Fentanyl. Understanding the risk factors that make overdose more likely, signs and symptoms that a person is suffering an overdose, and what you can do when the situation occurs, all have the potential to save someone’s life and get them on track to healthy, long-lasting sobriety.
Drug overdoses from opioids, whether prescribed or illegal, occur more often than from any other substance. This is mainly due to the highly addictive nature of opioids. People most at risk for a drug overdose are:
The signs of an overdose can differ from person to person. Symptoms vary depending on the drug taken, the person’s body composition and metabolism, and what dosage was taken. Even though the signs of an overdose can vary, the most common universal symptoms are:
Remember that the signs of an overdose will vary depending on the substance that’s been taken. The following list includes overdose symptoms associated with specific categories of drugs.
If you believe that someone has taken an overdose of drugs or alcohol, the first thing to do is immediately call 9-1-1 for emergency help. Stay with the person in need until help arrives. If the person has lost consciousness, place them on their side so that if they should vomit they won’t choke. If you or a loved one are struggling with a known opioid addiction, it is important to know that the life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug, Naloxone (also known as Narcan), can be purchased without a prescription in most states. Naloxone can be administered by injection or nasal spray. For someone with a known opioid addiction, having a supply of Naloxone on hand in case of an overdose can be life-saving. If you have Naloxone, call 911 first, then give the medication while you wait for help to arrive.
If someone has experienced an overdose, it is essential to seek treatment once they are out of immediate danger. This is especially true if there is a history of substance abuse or if a co-occurring medical disorder or mental health issue exists.
Contact Legacy Healing Center today to learn how our inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs treat the root causes of addiction. Our transformative program helps people find long term success in recovery and to go on to live a happy healthy stable life. Don’t risk the devastating consequences of an overdose, call today. Our intake specialists are available 24/7 and calls are completely confidential 888.534.2295