All about Medical Overdose

What is drug overdose? It is when you take a higher dose of medicine than what was recommended by the doctor. It could also as a result of being sensitive and therefore the drug becomes toxic to the body system.

Drug overdoses can be accidental or intentional. They occur when a person takes more than the medically recommended dose. However, some people may be more sensitive to certain medications, so the low (more dangerous) end of a drug may be toxic for them; a dose that is still within the range of acceptable medical use may be too much for their bodies to handle.

Illicit drugs, used to get high, may be taken in overdose amounts when a person’s metabolism cannot detoxify the drug fast enough to avoid unintended side effects.

Exposure to chemicals, plants, and other toxic substances that can cause harm are called poisonings. The higher the dose or the longer the exposure, the worse the poisoning. Two examples are carbon monoxide poisoning and mushroom poisoning.

Sourced from: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/drug-overdose#1

So what could be the reason why some people just don’t follow the doctor’s advice and instead go it their way? Well it is said that there are some medications that meddle with how your mind works and therefore making them susceptible to abuse.

Some medications have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties and, because of that, are sometimes abused—that is, taken for reasons or in ways or amounts not intended by a doctor, or taken by someone other than the person for whom they are prescribed. In fact, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are, after marijuana (and alcohol), the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older.

Commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include opioids (for pain), central nervous system (CNS) depressants (for anxiety and sleep disorders), and stimulants (for ADHD and narcolepsy).
Sourced from: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/prescription-drugs-cold-medicines

So how is drug overdose treated? First and foremost, if you suspect that someone had an overdose you should call the hospital. The kind of treatment administered is usually dependent on the kind of drug that was taken.

What Is the Treatment for a Drug Overdose?

If a person is suspected of overdosing on drugs, call 911 immediately.

Treatment will be dictated by the specific drug taken in the overdose. Information provided about amount, time, and underlying medical problems will be very helpful.

Activated charcoal may be given to help bind drugs and keep them in the stomach and intestines. This reduces the amount absorbed into the blood. The drug, bound to the charcoal, is then expelled in the stool. Often, a cathartic is given with the activated charcoal so that the person more quickly evacuates stool from his or her bowels.
Agitated or violent people need physical restraint and sometimes sedating medications in the emergency department until the effects of the drugs wear off. This can be disturbing for a person to experience and for family members to witness. Medical professionals go to great lengths to use only as much force and as much medication as necessary. It is important to remember that whatever the medical staff does, it is to protect the person they are treating. Sometimes the person has to be intubated (have a tube placed in the airway) so that the doctor can protect the lungs or help the person breathe during the detoxification process.
For certain overdoses, other medicine may need to be given either to serve as an antidote to reverse the effects of what was taken or to prevent even more harm from the drug that was initially taken. The doctor will decide if treatment needs to include additional medicines.

Sourced from: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug_overdose/page4_em.htm#what_is_the_treatment_for_a_drug_overdose

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