Did you know drug overdose is the number one cause of accidental death in the United States?
Drug overdoses are nothing new, but in recent decades, both recreational drug use and overdoses (whether they result in a death or not) are at an all time high.
While the list of drugs that can lead to overdosing is extensive, certain drugs have been recognized to be more likely to lead to overdose than others.
Today we’re going to be breaking down each of these four substances.
What is an overdose?
Simply put, an overdose is what happens when you take too much of a substance intentionally or accidentally and it can happen with both legal and illegal substances.
For many people, when they think of the word “overdose,” they might picture a teenager, twenty-something, or a celebrity who partied a bit too hard and lost track of all the substances in their system.
Most of us don’t consider the elderly person who chose — without permission from their medical provider — to up the dosage of their painkillers in an attempt to manage the chronic pain that was just too much to bear.
Understanding what an overdose is, having compassion for those struggling to manage the substances in their lives, and providing more education and proactive resources are key to reducing the overdoses in our society.
Drugs most responsible for overdose
Plenty of different drugs (legal and not) can lead to overdose, but in this article, we’re focusing on the top four: cocaine, opioids, heroin, and methamphetamine.
Cocaine — commonly referred to as coke, crack, or blow — is a potent stimulant that, while used by medical professionals in certain closely monitored situations, is most often used recreationally. Dealers frequently “cut” their cocaine with non-psychoactive substances (such as cornstarch or flour) in order to increase their profits, but sometimes additional drugs are integrated into the mixture, making it even more addictive and dangerous.
Opioid is an umbrella term used to describe a class of pain-relieving substances that are generally prescribed to people who are dealing with moderate-to-severe chronic pain that could be caused from a surgery. Though opioids are a legal medicine, they have become increasingly used recreationally in recent decades, increasing the overdose statistics. In addition, many people “up” their doses without proper medical supervision, which also leads to overdosing.
Heroin is an illicit drug that’s made from morphine, which, though derived from a plant, is not healthy nor safe. The dangers of heroin lie in the fact its effects on the pleasure responses in the brain are significant, leading to a potent high that’s not only highly addictive, but dangerous.
Methamphetamine — commonly referred to as meth — is a highly addictive stimulant that directly affects your nervous system and gives you a near-immediate euphoric rush. A large amount of the drug passes through the blood-brain barrier when it’s consumed, which is what gives you the instant high, making it an especially dangerous drug.
Seek professional help
If you or someone you know may be struggling with a substance use disorder regardless of whether it was listed in this article or not, seek professional help soon.
It can be scary to know what to do next, but that’s why we’re here. All you have to do is send us a message — no strings attached.
Here at Pyramid Healthcare, our number one priority is your recovery and our second priority is helping you build your happiest, healthiest sober life. We offer a variety of different treatment methods, and we will personalize each plan to your individual needs and preferences.
Additionally, we’re proud to offer an extensive continuum of care that begins in enrollment, continues through rehab, and supports you into any outpatient services and finally, into independent sobriety.
To learn more about how we can help you start your journey to recovery today, call us at 888-694-9996.