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How to Prevent a Drug Overdose

People use drugs for a range of reasons. Though many drugs can create a temporary sensation of pleasure, drugs can also cause short and long-term damage to your body. Whether you dabble in drugs recreationally or use them every day, it's vital to get professional help before an accidental overdose occurs.

Common Overdose Drugs

Depending on the type of drug consumed, effects to the body will vary. For example, taking methamphetamines is more harmful than smoking marijuana. Though all drugs negatively impact your body in one aspect or another, it's important to be familiar with the drugs that most commonly lead to an overdose (according to NIH):

  • Prescription Drugs
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • Antidepressants

A particular drug may be used for countless reasons. For instance, easy access, price, peer usage, and type of high usually affect a person's motives. Though specific drugs can lead to numerous complications, when any drug is abused and taken in an excessive amount, there is usually only one outcome: a drug overdose.

Signs of an Overdose

When someone overdoses on a drug (no matter what the exact drug may be), the signs are relatively universal:

  • Not Breathing
  • Not Responding
  • Lack of Mental and Physical Coordination
  • Turning Blue
  • Snoring Deeply

If you know someone who abuses drugs regularly and you see them experiencing these symptoms, then it's vital that you seek help immediately. Start by calling 9-1-1. It may take time for emergency assistance to arrive; therefore, turn the person over on his or her side to prevent choking or asphyxiation from vomit.

Preventing an Overdose

The most effective way to prevent an overdose is to quit using drugs (with or without professional assistance). However, there are other steps to take if discontinuing consumption is not your current plan:

  • Don't Mix Drugs
    • Never take more than one drug at any given time. You could potentially create a deadly combination.
  • Don't Take Drugs While Alone
    • You never know how your body will react to a specific drug. It's important to have someone around who can offer assistance.
  • Don't Take Drugs From a Stranger
    • If you don't know the person giving you the drugs, then you may be taking something other than expected.

A drug addiction can lead to irreversible consequences. If you or someone you know has a drug problem, we urge you to find the appropriate treatment.