Man thinking about the drug overdose epidemic in the U.S.

Discussing the Drug Overdose Epidemic

In the last decade, the number of drug overdoses has skyrocketed in the United States. This trend shows no signs of slowing down, causing widespread concern among medical professionals and lawmakers alike. And if you know someone who is misusing drugs, this is reason enough to learn what a drug overdose is, how to prevent it, and what to do if someone is overdosing.

To help fight the drug overdose epidemic, Promises Brazos Valley provides evidence-based addiction treatment in College Station, Texas. We offer a full range of programs, from detox and residential to partial hospitalization and outpatient, so that you will find the right level of care. We also offer a virtual intensive outpatient program for those unable to travel to our location. Contact us at 979.426.0086 to get the help you need to protect yourself or a loved one from a fatal drug overdose.

The Drug Overdose Epidemic in the US

Drug overdoses are an epidemic in the United States, but people can prevent them with some knowledge. Drug overdoses are a leading cause of death and a significant public health issue that affects us all, not only as individuals but also as communities and as a country. 

The drug overdose epidemic in America has become so rampant that most people know of at least one person that has overdosed on drugs, whether fatal or not. And in most cases, the overdose is unintentional. Street drugs can contain all sorts of dangerous additives, so a person using them may have no idea how potent they are. Even with prescription drugs, a person can build a tolerance and require larger doses to achieve the same effects. This can lead to taking doses high enough to lead to an overdose or death.

What Is a Drug Overdose?

A drug overdose happens when someone takes a drug in such large quantities that they become poisoned and experience adverse effects. A person can overdose on any drug, whether legal or illegal, regardless of whether they have a valid prescription. The most common drug overdoses involve:

  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Prescription opioids
  • Methamphetamine

Fatal drug overdoses were most often found with:

  • Alprazolam
  • Cocaine 
  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone 
  • Methamphetamine
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone

If you know someone using these drugs either by prescription or recreationally, learn how to prevent a drug overdose and recognize when someone is overdosing. Time is crucial during an overdose, and preparing can save someone’s life.

How Can You Prevent a Drug Overdose?

Preventing a drug overdose is easier for yourself than for someone else. You cannot control the actions of others, but you can provide them with information and support. Some tips for preventing a drug overdose are:

  • Avoid taking drugs when you are alone. If you overdose, there must be someone around to get emergency help for you.
  • Avoid mixing drugs.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol with drugs.
  • Avoid taking prescription drugs without a prescription.
  • Be cautious about taking pills purchased on the street. You do not know what exactly is in each batch.

The above tips can help you, or someone else, reduce the risk of overdosing on drugs. However, a person can still overdose simply by taking too large a dose.

What Should You Do If Someone Overdoses?

A person overdosing on drugs may be unconscious, unable to speak, or struggle with breathing. If you notice these signs and suspect someone has overdosed, you should:

  • Call 911 immediately
  • Administer rescue breathing and CPR if needed
  • Administer naloxone if it is available

Anyone who takes opioid drugs should always keep naloxone on hand for safety. By recognizing the signs of a drug overdose and knowing how to respond, you can prevent a fatal drug overdose.

Promises Brazos Valley: Quality Care in TX to Fight the Drug Overdose Epidemic

The statistics on the drug overdose epidemic are alarming, and you must know what to do if someone you love overdoses. The best prevention is encouraging your loved one to get help from a drug detox program before an overdose. Contact Promises Brazos Valley today at 979.426.0086 to find support for helping someone you care about getting treatment.

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