Author: Gary Jackson

Opioid Overdose: How To Respond & Prevent Death

A drug overdose means that an individual has consumed a toxic amount of a substance. According to the National Harm Reduction Coalition, ingesting too much of one or multiple drugs can harm the body. From 2009 to 2019, the age-adjusted death rate for drug overdose increased from 11.9 per 100,000 to 21.6.

which drug overdose can cause sudden death

If you use prescription drugs, be sure to use them only as directed by your doctor. Do not combine any medications without first asking your doctor if it’s safe. You should also not mix alcohol with prescription drugs without checking with your doctor first.

Risk factors for opioid overdose

Similar data related to nonfatal drug overdoses are reported through CDC’s Drug Overdose Surveillance and Epidemiology (DOSE) system. U.S. deaths from opioid overdoses are mounting with breathtaking speed. These powerful drugs — including heroin, morphine and fentanyl — can relieve pain and evoke intense feelings of pleasure.

  • Usually injected or inhaled, naloxone starts working in minutes and, in many cases, can reverse the overdose.
  • A person can still experience the effects of an overdose after a dose of naloxone wears off.
  • He took Aspirin for his headache and Pepto Bismol for his diarrhea.

If the naloxone has no effect on them, their symptoms are due to something else. Anyone who uses opioids could potentially experience an opioid overdose. Overdoses can happen to people during their first time using opioids, to people who’ve taken them multiple times or to people who have opioid use disorder.

How can I prevent an opioid overdose?

For example, overdosing on opioids adversely affects an individual’s ability to breathe. This lack of oxygen can cause organ damage, unconsciousness, and even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that 106,699 people died of a drug overdose in the United States in 2021. An opioid overdose happens when opioids excessively stimulate the part of your brain that regulates breathing. This leads to respiratory depression (ineffective breathing) and can cause death if it isn’t treated in time. Some medical treatments for opioid addiction also target opioid receptors.

  • People can also die from opioid overdose when they (knowingly or unknowingly) use an opioid in combination with another substance, such as a sedative or stimulant.
  • As a consequence, the Insulin she took made her blood sugar drop into dangerously low levels.
  • The first step when responding to an overdose of any kind is to contact emergency services.
  • This chronic condition involves the ongoing overuse of a substance.