Substance Abuse and Overdose: The Risks
Regardless of the type of substance that is being abused, substance abuse, in general, can elicit consequences that can have a devastating effect on a person’s life. Relationships that were once important can begin to crumble, once-promising careers can wane, and the ability to effectively participate in daily life can be greatly hindered when the abuse of substances is occurring. Furthermore, ongoing substance abuse places a person at a heightened risk for experiencing potentially fatal effects due to the toxic nature of drugs and/or alcohol.
An example of such an effect is overdose. An overdose results when an individual smokes, snorts, injects, or drinks a substance in such an excessive amount that his or her body is not capable of processing it or removing it in an efficient manner. If a person’s body is not able to eradicate the substance, there is a risk that the individual may lose his or her life.
For the aforementioned reasons, it is important to be able to identify the signs of overdose and seek emergency medical attention as quickly as possible, including long-term rehabilitation for drug & alcohol addiction. And while the signs of overdose can vary in both type and severity, medical care and treatment can ultimately save a person’s life.
The Signs of Drug & Alcohol Overdose
Depending on the type and amount of the substance or substances that are abused, the warning signs that someone is experiencing an overdose can vary. If any of the following symptoms are displayed by an individual following the use of drugs and/or alcohol, it is best to contact 9-1-1 as quickly as possible:
- Loss of color to one’s skin, lips, and/or fingernails
- Rapid eye movement
- Heart attack
- Chest pain
- Uncontrolled muscle movements
- Constricted or dilated pupils
- Weakened pulse
- Dry mouth
- Slurred speech
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle cramping
- Delayed response to stimuli
- Discolored tongue
- Muscle spasms
- Organ failure
- Breathing changes
What To Do If a Person is Showing Signs of Drug & Alcohol Overdose
Because the overuse of a given substance can cause irreversible damage to a person’s health, 9-1-1 should be contacted as quickly as possible. The previously listed signs of overdose can turn fatal fast, so by seeking medical treatment & rehab, an individual can avoid further peril.
If emergency medical care is contacted, it would be helpful to provide the first responders with the following information:
- Details about the substance or substances that were abused prior to the onset of symptoms
- The amount of a substance or substances that were consumed
- The length of time that drugs and/or alcohol were abused before symptoms appeared
First responders can benefit from knowing this information prior to delivering treatment, as it could direct them towards what types of medical interventions to use. However, if you do not know the above details, rest assured that those who are providing care can still administer superior service because of their extensive training.
Experiencing an overdose can sometimes be a one-time occurrence that happened accidentally. However, an overdose can also be a telltale sign of a greater problem. If an individual experiences multiple overdoses, it could indicate that he or she is grappling with an addiction. When this is the case, it is wise for that person to consider seeking treatment & rehab to confront his or her addictive behaviors and develop the skills needed to live a healthy, substance-free life.
Consisting of a network of top-notch addiction treatment providers, Sober Living by the Sea is pleased to offer men and women the care they need to overcome chemical dependency concerns. Located in southern California, The Rose, The Landing, and Sunrise Recovery Ranch allow clients to work through the issues that caused them to turn to the abuse of substances and develop the confidence and skills needed to refrain from further substance use.
If you or an important person in your life is struggling with an addiction to substances, or overdose, and would like to achieve lasting sobriety, contact a Sober Living by the Sea rehab provider today. With just one phone call, your life can transform for the better.