Author: John Carter

Understanding Drug Overdoses and Deaths Drug Overdose CDC Injury Center

how long does a drug overdose take

Once overdose symptoms are safely managed, and a safe detoxification process is complete, the next step toward recovery can begin. To learn more about the recovery process, contact a treatment provider today. WHO recommends that naloxone be made available to people likely to witness an opioid overdose, as well as training in the management of opioid overdose.

This chronic condition involves the ongoing overuse of a substance. If a patient overdosed on Oxycontin, which has a slow release in the gut, they can be revived from overdose only to overdose again. They may need an IV infusion of Narcan in slow-release, until the opioids are cleared from the body. Drug overdoses, both fatal and nonfatal, continue to impact our nation. Good Samaritan laws and similar legal protections exist across states to ensure you will not get into trouble for helping someone experiencing an overdose. Usually injected or inhaled, naloxone starts working in minutes and, in many cases, can reverse the overdose.

Fentanyl is an opioid that’s 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. People who make heroin often add nonmedical fentanyl to it to increase its potency (strength). Narcotics are a class of drugs that are chemicals — natural or synthetic — that interact with nerve cells and have the potential to reduce pain. Opiates occur in nature, though they can still be very dangerous in their purified and concentrated forms.

how long does a drug overdose take

So, opioids might depress breathing by working directly on areas of the brain outside the brain stem. Breathing delivers fresh oxygen to the body’s cells and eliminates carbon dioxide. Opioids can interfere with that life-sustaining process in multiple, dangerous ways. The first step when responding to an overdose of any kind is to contact emergency services. Sedative-specific medications are used to sedate the body to reduce stress and assist with sleep and are often quite powerful in their effect.

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The most obvious way to tell if these symptoms indicate overdose is if you know you have taken drugs or have seen someone else take drugs. Getting medical help quickly can make a big difference in the effectiveness of drug overdose treatment. Recognizing the symptoms of a drug overdose is crucial to treating this reaction. Providing supportive care, administering medication such as naloxone, and calling 911 can all help treat certain types of drug overdose.

Opioid overdose is the largest representation of drug-related overdoses within the US. Overdoses involving Opioids are common when synthetic Opiates like Fentanyl or Heroin are being used. Opioid-related overdoses can range in severity, with many non-fatal overdoses occurring more often than fatal events. Even still, the Opioid Epidemic in the US still poses a major threat to public health. Depending on the type of substance, there are many different symptoms of an overdose.

  1. But if used incorrectly, buprenorphine and other opioid-based treatments can also kill.
  2. All these substances are considered highly dangerous as there is rarely any standardization to them.
  3. It discusses what a drug overdose is, why it occurs, and how to prevent it.
  4. When it comes to drug overdose, being proactive is essential to reversing overdose and preventing death.

Typically, anything above .16% (that is, .16% of your blood containing alcohol) results in serious symptoms like loss of consciousness, blackouts, and impairment of cognitive functioning. When .30% is reached, this is often where loss of life is a serious risk as the body is completely unable to function. The gap between recommendations and practice is significant. Only half of countries provide access to effective treatment options for opioid dependence and less than 10% of people worldwide in need of such treatment are receiving it (5). Access to naloxone is generally limited to health professionals.

Here’s how an overdose shuts down your body.

If the person’s symptoms improve with naloxone, it means they’ve experienced an opioid overdose. If the naloxone has no effect on them, their symptoms are due to something else. You should seek medical help immediately if you have these symptoms or witness them in someone else and suspect they may have overdosed.

how long does a drug overdose take

If you suspect someone may be overdosing, do not leave them alone. Seek immediate medical help by calling 911 or taking them to an emergency unit. If you aren’t sure if someone is overdosing, it’s best to act as if they are by seeking emergency help.

What are the risk factors for drug overdose?

When taking a prescription medication, always follow a doctor’s instructions and take the medication exactly as they prescribed it. When in doubt about the correct dosage, consult with a doctor or pharmacist. It discusses what a drug overdose is, why it occurs, and how to prevent it. If you think someone you love may be using or misusing opioids, talk to your loved one about the dangers of opioids and try to connect them to medical resources.

Understanding Drug Overdoses and Deaths

Symptoms of a drug overdose may include breathing difficulties, changes in heart rate or body temperature, seizure, stroke, and more. To prevent drug overdose from prescription medications, only take the prescribed dose. Follow a doctor or pharmacist’s directions for taking any prescription. Do not take additional doses to make up for any missed doses.

These symptoms of stimulant overdose can lead to a seizure, stroke, heart attack, or death. Roughly 64,000 U.S. residents died from a drug overdose in 2016, according to the U.S. Addressing a substance use disorder can help decrease the chance of a drug overdose. Individuals experiencing a stimulant overdose should stay hydrated and cool.

The opioid epidemic spurs a search for new, safer painkillers. If sedated or groggy, a person might be more likely to aspirate vomit and choke, particularly when alcohol and other sedatives are used. Opioid receptors have also been found in areas of the brain that regulate voluntary breathing — when you feel the need to take in a deep swallow of air, you do it. The appropriate number of pills depends on the person and their medication.

It can be difficult to prevent an opioid overdose because you may not know the potency of the substances you’re using. In a hospital setting, healthcare providers order several tests to check for any complications. They may perform other forms of medical care other than naloxone, such as intubation to help with breathing. A person can still experience the effects of an overdose after a dose of naloxone wears off.