Do you know how easy it is for a person to have a fatal overdose resulting from addiction? Most individuals addicted to drugs, whether they are prescription or illicit, never think about any of the consequences of their addiction. The number one consequence that they never think about is that they could suffer a fatal overdose resulting from addiction. Addicts think, “Oh, that would never happen to me!” But, the sad fact is that too many times this does happen.
Opioids: The Main Culprit in Drug Overdose Deaths
Drug overdose deaths result from opioids in the majority of these cases today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) opioids were responsible for 42,249 overdose deaths in 2016. The truth of the matter is that this figure is probably much lower than the actual number of deaths caused by opioids. In many cases, the death certificate may state a different cause of death which is in fact, a symptom of the overdose.
Signs and Symptoms of a Drug Overdose include:
- The skin may be hot and dry or cold and sweaty
- Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Pulse and respiratory rates will be slowed
- Sleepiness, confusion, and coma
- Shortness of breath; Slow or shallow breathing
- Seizures (Convulsions)
- Chest pain due to lung or heart damage
As mentioned above, a medical examiner may contribute an overdose death to a heart attack, respiratory failure, or seizure, when in fact, these are only symptoms of the drug overdose which is what was the “cause of death” of the victim.
Risk of a Fatal Overdose Resulting from Addiction
Almost always, a fatal overdose resulting from addiction is accidental. There are a variety of ways that a person can take an accidental overdose of a drug or drugs. If it is the first time a person uses a specific drug, they may not know how much their body can tolerate. Some people may get the same effect from a lesser amount of a drug than others get with a much higher dose of the same drug. It just depends on the person and their body’s system. Accidental drug overdoses can occur the very first time an individual takes or uses a substance.
Another way a person can suffer a fatal overdose resulting from addiction is if they have possibly been treated for drug addiction and have been clean and sober for an extended period. They may have a relapse or bump into some old friends from their drug abuse days. Using a drug from which someone has been in recovery for a while can lead to a fatal overdose. An individual may think that they can take the same amount of the drug that they used before. In reality, their body can no longer handle this amount of the substance which would result in a fatal drug overdose. The amount of the drug that their body could tolerate when they were in full-blown addiction is now toxic to their system.
Other Factors That Contribute to Fatal Overdoses
If a person is deep in their drug addiction, they can get so high that they forget how much of the drug they have taken. As is always the case, they are in constant search of the same high that they experienced the very first time they used the drug. To reach the high that they want, they take more of the substance resulting in an accidental overdose ending up in a fatality.
Using illicit street drugs is extremely dangerous because you never know what may be mixed with the drugs you are acquiring. For instance, if you buy heroin on the street from one dealer for a period and then switch to a different dealer, the heroin could be a different purity, or it could be mixed with other drugs which would make it more toxic which could result in an accidental overdose.
Seek Professional Treatment for Drug Addiction
If you are struggling with drug abuse, seek professional help before you become a victim of a fatal overdose resulting from addiction. Don’t think that it can’t happen to you because you will be wrong. Call A Forever Recovery and speak with a representative to learn more about our treatment programs for drug addiction.