Believe it or not, the most commonly overdosed substance can be found in a medicine cabinet or in a drug store. People overdose on over-the-counter medicines (OTC) more often than prescription or illegal drugs because they’re the most widely available.
An overdose occurs when someone takes a dose of a drug that the body can’t handle. It becomes toxic to the system at increased levels and causes the body to reject it. The level of toxicity depends on factors such as the person’s age, overall health and history of drug use. If you or someone you love needs help with addiction, call Legacy Freedom for quality alcohol and drug rehab in Wilmington NC.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common drugs involved in overdoses:
OTC medicines like Tylenol and aspirin are the most common drugs people overdose on. Sometimes the drug is taken accidentally in combination with other medicines or it is taken at a higher dosage than recommended. In other cases, people take too many in an attempt to commit suicide. Other OTC drugs such as Benadryl and cough syrups are often used recreationally by young people. The active ingredient in them, dextromethorphan (DMX), can cause feelings of euphoria and hallucinations when large doses are taken, making the risk of overdose increase.
Prescription pain relievers can be a cause of overdose when a user becomes tolerant of the amount the doctor has prescribed and decides to take more than the recommended dosage. Sedatives such as Valium that are prescribed by a doctor can also cause an overdose when too many are taken or when they’re mixed with other drugs or alcohol.
The rate of heroin overdoses has increased in the last year, according to reports from the National Center for Health Statistics. This highly addictive drug can cause an overdose much more easily than other drugs. Longtime users need to take more and more in order to get the same high, so they’re likely to take too much.
Cocaine is another highly addictive drug that may lead to overdose because once users develop a tolerance for it, they will increase the amount they ingest. Methamphetamine is another stimulant that can cause overdose symptoms quickly. A person may not know they are overdosing until it is too late. This drug, along with heroin, is also dangerous because users have little or no control over its strength. The next batch they buy off the street could be stronger than the last, or could have other additives in it that may be toxic to the body.
Overdoses can be accidental or intentional. Most overdoses of OTC medicines are intentional, while overdoses of illegal drugs are usually accidental. They’re not always fatal, but they can cause permanent damage to vital organs. Symptoms of an overdose vary from person to person, but if someone is visibly ill and you know they have taken drugs, get help immediately.
International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event held on August 31, hopes to honor and remember loved ones lost to fatal overdoses and educate people about this preventable tragedy.
Alternative Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Wilmington NC
Don’t become another overdose statistic. Get help for your drug or alcohol addiction by calling Legacy Freedom of Wilmington. We offer outpatient therapy to help with recovery from drugs or alcohol in a safe, caring environment. Our customized treatment plans for alcohol and drug rehab in Wilmington will meet your needs. We don’t believe in a “cookie cutter” approach and that’s why we have a proven track record of success. Call us today to talk with an admissions counselor.