What is an Accidental Drug Overdose?
The Drug Policy Alliance states that “accidental drug overdose is currently the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States for people between the ages of 35-54.”
People can accidentally overdose on many different kinds of substances or a combination thereof.
One way is to mix alcohol with other drugs, prescription or not. Many times people are unaware of how intoxicated they already are and then proceed to consume more. Combining any kind of medication, drugs, or alcohol without the guidance of a physician can produce an accidental drug overdose.
Certain medications affect people differently, which explains why they have such extensive warning labels. Even if you take the same dose as someone else, it might interact with your system differently, which could cause a chain reaction of events. Mixing drugs or using without professional medical guidance is dangerous, yet it continues to happen.
So what can we do about accidental drug overdoses?
The Drug Policy Alliance is taking steps to raise awareness on legislation that will try to reduce the stigma associated with drug use. This will allow for more access to lifesaving medications such as Naloxone–a medication if administered within a certain amount of time of an opioid overdose can immediately reverse the effects of the substance. This prescription medication combats the “depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system,” which is what occurs during opioid overdose. When opioid overdose is left untreated, breathing and heart-rate will decrease drastically, which can ultimately lead to death. There is no risk of developing dependency on Naloxone, and although it is normally administered by healthcare professionals or emergency responders, it can be administered by individuals with minimal training (Understanding Naloxone).
GRASP (Grief Recovery After Substance Passing) is another way to help educate people on addiction and drug abuse, but also on how to rebuild after losing a loved one. Removing the negative connotations that come with the topic of addiction can help people receive the life-saving care they need. Condemning the user achieves nothing, but when people who are sick are treated as such, many great changes can occur.
If you or someone you love needs help overcoming addiction, please contact us anytime at (337) 456.9111.
Drug Overdose. (n.d.). Retrieved September, 2016.
Understanding Naloxone. (n.d.). Retrieved September, 2016.
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