Overdose and Brain Damage

Overdosing on drugs or alcohol can cause many serious health problems and damage to vital organs, including the brain. The brain is a complicated organ, and medical professionals still study the exact mechanisms of brain damage from drug overdose. However, the destructive effects of overdose are quite clear, so get help today avoiding overdose.

Effects of Drug Overdose on the Brain

With most drugs the effects of overdose are primarily physical, but these physical effects can cause brain damage indirectly. Overdose often results in suppressed breathing which leads to insufficient blood supply to the brain. These insufficient levels of oxygen will result in brain damage. Overdose may also rupture blood vessels or cause a stroke which may cause brain damage. In all of these cases the brain damage is permanent.

Cocaine overdose is especially likely to cause brain damage resulting from stroke, brain hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain), or cerebral atrophy (swelling of the brain). Cocaine overdose can also cause seizures, but cocaine-induced seizures usually subside after a few days and are temporary. Even long-term use can also cause serious psychological problems, including psychosis.

Alcohol in particular seriously damages the brain. Despite its legal status, alcohol is one of the most destructive of all the recreational drugs. Psychiatric researcher Aaron M. White, Ph.D., puts it very succinctly: “If recreational drugs were tools, alcohol would be a sledgehammer.” The brain absorbs alcohol like a sponge, and the negative effects increase with the amount of alcohol consumed. Any amount of alcohol impairs brain function, but large amounts, especially when consumed rapidly, cause seriously problems. Memory in particular is impaired by alcohol. Binge drinking may result in alcohol overdose, also known as alcohol poisoning, which can cause long-term memory problems, coma or death.

Long-Term Effects of Brain Damage

Permanent brain damage resulting from drug overdose drastically change a person’s life. Often patients are simply not the same person they were before the overdose, and will have serious difficulty functioning normally. The end result can be greatly reduced quality of life, lost potential, chronic disability and dependence on others for basic needs. The long term effects of brain damage resulting an overdose include but are not limited to the following:

  • Personality changes
  • Problems with memory
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble learning
  • Problems with movement and coordination
  • Shaking
  • Tremors
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Facial paralysis
  • Uncontrollable drooling

To avoid these symptoms, avoid drugs or quit your addiction now.

Treatment for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Overdose occurs in inexperienced drinkers and drug users as well as those who have been addicted for a long time. It can happen anytime to anyone who abuses drugs. Getting treatment for addiction can help you to avoid overdose and its destructive effects. Patients receive many other benefits from treatment as well: regaining control over your life, improved physical health, greater career success, healthier relationships and the ability to reach your full potential.

If you would like help finding treatment for addiction, or if you simply have questions about overdose, treatment or recovery, call us. Our helpline is toll free and we are available 24 hours a day.