Surviving a Drug Overdose

Most drugs were never originally designed to be inside the body. Some replicate naturally-occurring human body chemicals and processes once they’re inside, but more often than not, they’re a mix of chemicals designed to take advantage of the body’s tolerance for poison and the flow of nutrients inside the body. So illegal drugs, or legal drugs being used in a way unintended by the prescriber, can be incredibly harmful when taken in excess of what the body can handle. This is an overdose, which killed over 64,000 people in 2016, and the trend has only gone up.


How to Identify

The signs of an overdose of a drug are really dependent of the kind of drug being used. Drugs can be roughly divided into two categories: depressants and stimulants, or “uppers” and “downers” more colloquially. While even among these categories there are differences in overdose indications, the general thing to look for is vomiting, loss of consciousness or responsiveness, seizures, and difficulty breathing. If you know someone or are someone addicted to a substance, be familiar with the particular danger signs associated with the substance being used. (It is worth noting that dishonest pushers may sometimes say one drug is another drug to make a sale, so be wary of this as well)


First-aid Response

Luckily South Florida has a good medical emergency response time, even in the more rural areas, so first and foremost someone seeing someone else overdose should immediately alert 911, especially if they aren’t familiar with the right medical interventions to do. This will get the professionals moving, but it will also give even an untrained person access to medical knowledge to save a life. They can instruct in CPR, first-aid suggestions, and other emergency techniques.


Help After the Fact

Needless to say, an overdose is quite likely the bottom point of a person’s drug use. After their life is no longer in jeopardy, it is important to get them to agree to rehab as quickly as possible, so that their life can be theirs again. South Florida’s drug rehab options are quite good, so it’s only a matter of getting the addict to save their own life after that point.


To learn more about drug rehab and where to find it in South Florida, contact us right away.

Drug Overdose – When the Emergency Room Trumps the Rehab Center

How to Tell if Someone has Overdosed

Seeing a loved one go through overdose symptoms can be truly frightening, especially when some of the more serious symptoms strike. Nonetheless, if you do not know what you are looking out for or why, you might simply assume that the person is having some kind of different health issue and you may end up not getting them the help they need for their drug abuse problem.

Overdosing on drugs comes with a plethora of visible side effects. If someone has taken far too many drugs for their body to handle, they will more often than not experience or exhibit multiple symptoms, including the following:

  • Passing out
  • Loss of perception
  • Not responding
  • Seizure
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Irritation
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Violent behavior
  • High body temperatures
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blue extremities
  • Drowning sounds
  • Breathing difficulties, including stopped breathing
  • Pupil dilation
  • Chest pain
  • Babbling
  • Severe incoordination


Get Immediate Help for an Overdose

Should you suspect that a loved one has overdosed on drugs, you need to act immediately and get them help. This isn’t a time to worry about whether they will get in trouble for using a substance, especially since overdose so often leads to death when people aren’t treated right away.

For a drug overdose, take the person to the nearest emergency room. Your quick action in doing so may be the difference between life and death for them.


After the Overdose has Been Handled

Watching someone go through an overdose and getting them treatment at the emergency room might seem like the problem has finally ended, but there is a good chance that the person has an addiction to drugs of some kind. Once they are out of the hospital for the overdose, contact us to determine the best course of action. We will help discover if the overdose was a one-time thing or whether a drug addiction is present.


drug overdose

Recovering From a Drug Overdose

A drug overdose is a devastating event. Some overdoses are fatal, but they can all be a serious wake-up call. If you or someone you care about has survived an overdose, it’s time to take action. These are some steps to follow as you recover from an overdose.

Address Any Imminent Medical Needs for a Drug Overdose

The first and most important step in recovery is addressing any serious medical problems. An overdose can cause countless issues, and many will require ongoing medical attention.

Individuals who overdose on drugs may have cardiac problems, gastrointestinal issues or difficulty breathing. Additionally, they might experience memory loss or could have dangerously low vital signs. It’s crucial to treat all of these immediately.

Although the desire to move to detox and rehab is a good thing, you’ll want to focus on seeking emergency medical care first. The stress of quitting drugs may put unnecessary pressure on the body, which could make some problems worse. Getting stable comes first, and that might need to happen in a hospital.

Seek Out Professional Help

After an overdose, it’s normal to realize that something has to change. Although that increase in motivation and drive is fantastic, it’s not always enough to lead to lasting recovery. To make a true change that lasts for a lifetime, you’ll need professional assistance.

There are a number of risks involved with quitting drugs cold turkey at home. Even with the best of intentions, individuals can struggle with intense cravings as well as withdrawal symptoms. When people don’t seek treatment, these symptoms could become serious problems.

In an environment with medical supervision, patients are able to recover safely and securely. Any lingering problems from the overdose receive attention, but the focus will still be on sustainable addiction recovery. Patients get help from a range of medical professionals, each of whom can ease patient discomfort and help them work towards recovery.

Consider the Best Rehab Options For Lasting Sobriety

After a drug overdose, it’s important to consider the best rehab options for recovery. The most intensive option is the 24/7 inpatient program, where patients spend all of their days and nights in a secure treatment facility. Other options include a partial hospitalization program, an outpatient program or an intensive outpatient program.

Each of these drug treatment programs should include medical supervision, frequent physical exams, and ongoing drug tests. This ensures that patients are healthy and sober throughout treatment. There should also be a variety of treatment methods available so that an overdose never happens again. Some of these methods could include:

  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Holistic therapies like acupuncture and massage
  • Relapse prevention programs
  • Sober living and companionship options
  • Individual talk therapy
  • Group and family therapy

If you’ve been through one drug overdose, you know how traumatic and dangerous it can be. Prevent any future overdoses by recovering at 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida. Call (866) 319-6126 to find the best drug addiction recovery treatment program for you and to start creating your own path to health, happiness, and recovery.