Call Now


Dangers of Drug Overdose

Learn about the various dangers associated with a drug overdose, along with how to know that one might be happening.

What Is a Drug Overdose?

Drug overdoses can happen immediately after someone uses a substance, or they can happen over the course of several hours, days, or even months. A person who overdoses and receives prompt medical attention may make a full recovery the same day. In other cases, a person who overdoses can fall into a coma, meaning their overdose can last for much longer and still be harming their body.

What Does an Overdose Feel Like?

A drug overdose can feel differently depending on the substance used, the amount used, as well as the individual’s body size and overall health.

Typically, the way an overdose feels is reflective of the substance that an individual overdoses on, meaning a stimulant overdose may cause someone to feel jittery, with increased blood pressure and heart rate, while an opioid overdose may cause symptoms like slowed breathing, loss of consciousness, and slowed heart rate.

Drug Overdose Symptoms

If you suspect you or someone you know may be experiencing a drug overdose, it’s important to know that the following are some common drug overdose symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Trouble breathing

  • Impaired motor skills and trouble walking

  • Agitation

  • Uncharacteristic aggression or violence

  • Agitation

  • Uncharacteristic aggression or violence

  • Enlarged pupils

  • Tremors

  • Convulsions

  • Hallucinations or delusions

Additional Indicators

Additionally, symptoms like fainting, pale or blue skin or lips, and slowed breathing are all serious signs of a drug overdose and call for immediate medical attention.

Treating Drug Overdose

Drug overdose treatment at home is usually not a good idea, especially when an individual is exhibiting severe overdose symptoms. Drug overdoses can quickly become serious and require intense medical attention that should be safely done at a treatment center or hospital.

However, if you think someone you know may be overdosing and your only choice is to help at home, you can save a life by administering an overdose medication like Narcan.

Reasons for Drug Overdose

An overdose can be an intentional drug overdose for suicide or self-harm, in which someone actively chooses to take too much of a drug with the goal of overdosing, or an overdose can be accidental. An accidental overdose happens when someone does not realize they are taking too much of a drug, and these are the most common types of overdose. In fact, research suggests that only 12% of overdoses are intentional, while the remaining 88% are accidental.1 

Accidental Overdose

Unfortunately, accidental overdoses are on the rise. Fentanyl, also known as an “overdose drug,” may be responsible for the high number of overdoses in recent years, as many people are adding fentanyl to other drugs in order to create different effects or create less pure versions of the drug to sell.

This means that many people are unknowingly consuming large amounts of the powerful substance. Some believe fentanyl is the easiest drug to overdose on, as it is very potent and it can only take a small amount to overdose.2

What Drugs Do People Overdose On?





Dangers of a Drug Overdose

Long-Term Effects of an Overdose

  • Liver damage
  • Brain damage
  • Damage to the heart
  • Neurological consequences

  • Higher risk of developing emotional and mental problems

  • Higher risk of drug addiction

Risk Factors for Drug Overdose

  • Improper storage of drugs: Especially when small children are around, it is important to store substances in places that they cannot find or access.
  • Not knowing dosage instructions: It can be dangerously easy to overdose on medication if you don’t know the proper dose.
  • History of misuse: Intentionally misusing drugs puts you at a greater risk for overdose.
  • History of mental disorders: Especially in the case of untreated symptoms, mental illness can be a risk factor for drug abuse and overdose.

How to Prevent or Avoid an Overdose of Drugs

drug overdose treatment 


Practice Medicine Safety

Avoid Drugs Unless Prescribed

Throw Away Old Medications

Be Careful If Taking Multiple Substances

Drug Overdose Treatment at Anew Treatment Center

Learn More About Our Treamtment Programs

Our team is ready to discuss your treatment options with you. Your call is confidential with no obligation is required.