What Are the Most Common Causes of an Overdose?

The reasons for drug overdose are as varied as the users who take the drugs. Some instances of overdose are accidental while others are intended. Knowing what causes overdose might help you save the life of a drug user.

Accidental Overdose

The following are a few of the reasons behind accidental drug overdose:

  • Having relative inexperience with the particular drug being taken or with drugs in general causing the user to take more than his or her body can tolerate
  • Mixing drugs to create a new combination with more potency than the user expects
  • Thinking that the drug is weak and therefore taking more of it than the user ordinarily would
  • Trying to take an old dosage amount after a period of non-use and expecting one’s tolerance level to be as high as before
  • Unknowingly accumulating a drug in the body through protracted use, until the user takes the dose that combines with all of the drug still left in the body and triggers an overdose

If a user’s overdose is fatal, it is hard to determine whether he took too many drugs accidentally or intentionally, but examination of the user’s last actions and attitudes as well as his experience using drugs usually provides enough evidence to make a case for one cause over the other.

Intentional Overdose

If an individual, whether a habitual drug user or a total abstainer, decides that he or she has given up on life, the individual will often turn to drugs as a means of suicide. Experienced users are more likely to be successful in such an attempt, since they know what drugs should never be mixed because of their lethal interactions. Novice users tend to take a handful of pills indiscriminately, hoping that the cumulative effect of all the drugs will be fatal. Often they experience seizures or severe coma, resulting in permanent physical and psychological damage, but survive the incident.

Helping an Overdose Victim

If your loved one is a drug user, you need to get help. Intervene before he or she overdoses by calling our toll-free helpline. We are here 24 hours a day to help you identify addiction problems, overdose symptoms and recovery options. We are here now waiting to help you, so call today.