Benefits of Addressing Overdose Problems Early

Benefits of Addressing Overdose Problems Early

It is possible to overdose on nearly any substance. Overdosing can cause a wide range of serious problems, including death; however, the term “overdose” does not necessarily mean “fatal overdose.” A person may overdose on a substance and live to tell the tale. However, in such a case, it is quite possible that he will suffer from lasting repercussions.

Addressing Substance Abuse Early to Avoid Overdose

Anyone who abuses drugs recreationally is at risk of suffering an overdose. Some classes of drugs, particularly opiates and opioids, may be fatal in overdose. Even alcohol may cause a fatal overdose. An overdose of benzodiazepine sedatives like Valium and Xanax usually does not end in death, but overdose of these drugs may lead to other very serious mental and physical health problems. Combining benzodiazepine sedatives with other sedatives (including alcohol) or with opioids greatly increases the risk of a fatal overdose.

The aforementioned drugs are all central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which can depress breathing during an overdose, leading to death. Conversely, overdosing on a stimulant such as cocaine may result in fatal cardiac arrest or stroke.

Every episode of abuse presents another opportunity to overdose, so the best way to avoid an overdose is to address any substance abuse issues early. A drug abuser who has survived an overdose episode should be assumed to have a drug problem, and appropriate intervention steps may be necessary.

Avoiding Accidental Overdose

It is also possible to overdose accidentally even if one is not a recreational drug abuser. A person may take an extra dose of medication accidentally, or may combine his medication with alcohol without realizing the possible consequences. Elderly people in particular may be at increased risk of accidental overdose; seniors tend to take multiple medications, and it can be difficult to keep track of exactly what has been taken and when.

There is also the possibility of dangerous drug interactions. Again, this is a greater possibility when taking multiple medications. This may be especially problematic in the event of surgery or an injury, when the person begins a course of pain medication on top of his regular medications. The pain medication may cause an interaction that the patient’s doctor did not anticipate, especially if he is not aware of all the medications the patient is taking. For this reason it is critical to inform your doctor of everything you are taking, even over-the-counter medications. Also, be absolutely honest with your doctor about your alcohol consumption and any illicit drug use; remember, your doctor is concerned first and last with your health and is not a law enforcement officer.

Treating Addiction to Avoid Overdose

The very best way to avoid the possibility of overdose is to abstain from taking drugs. For people who are addicted this can be very difficult to do. Professional treatment for addiction that includes long-term counseling and follow-up support for recovery is the most effective means of overcoming addiction. By overcoming addiction you will avoid the possibility of overdose and enjoy many other benefits as well in all areas of your life.

If you would like help finding treatment for addiction, or if you have any questions about drugs, addiction, overdose, treatment, or recovery, please call our toll-free 24 hour helpline today.