How to treat prescription drug overdose
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Drug Overdose – How to treat prescription drug overdose?

“Drug overdose”

How to treat prescription drug overdose. An overdose occurs when a person consumes too much of a drug, whether it is prescribed, over-the-counter, legal, or illegal. Overdosing on drugs can be unintentional or intentional. You’ve overdosed if you’ve taken more than the recommended amount of a drug or enough to cause harm to your body’s functions.

Overdosing can result in serious medical problems, including death. The severity of a drug overdose is determined by the drug, the amount taken, and the person’s physical and medical history.

Misuse or addiction history: Using illegal drugs or intentionally abusing prescription medicines might put you at risk of a drug overdose, especially if it happens frequently or if you get hooked. If you take numerous drugs, mix them together, or combine them with alcohol, your chance of addiction rises.

Mental problems can also be a risk factor for overdosing on drugs. Overdosing can be triggered by depression and suicidal thoughts. This is particularly true if the symptoms aren’t addressed.

PREVENTION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG OVERDOSE

This NIOSH Topic is designed to help workers, employers, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders learn more about the work-related variables that affect prescription medication overdose prevention.

Prescription drug misuse and overdoses are significant public health issues. Since 1999, drug overdose fatalities using opioid analgesics have more than quadrupled, with more than 16,000 deaths in 2013. In combination with previous Federal efforts to assist States to extend and deepen their work to address this expanding problem, the CDC has focused on increasing resources for State preventive programs.

What You Should Know

Prescription drug misuse has a significant influence on almost every element of society. Workers in many industries and sectors may be exposed to new hazards as workplace injuries are being treated with potent prescription medications including fentanyl (Duragesic®, Actiq®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®, Lortab®), oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®), and oxymorphone (Opana®, Numorphan®). Recent workers’ compensation studies pdf icon external icon show that prescription medications are becoming more common in workers’ compensation claims, with opioids accounting for 25% of drug expenses, Work-related concerns linked with rising opioid usage include the potential for (a) work-related injuries to begin prescription medication (including opioid) use and, potentially, abuse; and (b) increases in worker injuries associated with such medicines as contributory or causal causes.

Factors that are at risk

A drug overdose can be caused by a number of causes. These are some of them:

Improper medication storage: Drugs that have been improperly kept might be easy targets for curious little toddlers who like to put items in their mouth. Children can easily get into and overdose on medicines that haven’t been properly packed and stored away from them.

Adults can overdose on medicine if they don’t know or follow the dosage guidelines. Overdosing on a medicine that is generally safe for you might easily happen if you take too much or take your dosages sooner than prescribed.

Misuse or addiction history: Using illegal drugs or intentionally abusing prescription medicines might put you at risk of a drug overdose, especially if it happens frequently or if you get hooked. If you take numerous drugs, mix them together, or combine them with alcohol, your chance of addiction rises.

Mental problems can also be a risk factor for overdosing on drugs. Overdosing can be triggered by depression and suicidal thoughts. This is particularly true if the symptoms aren’t addressed.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of a drug overdose vary based on the individual, substance, and dosage. However, there are several symptoms that are universal:

sleepiness, nausea, and vomiting

consciousness loss

Having difficulties breathing Aggression or brutality when walking

pupillary enlargement

Convulsions, tremors, hallucinations, or delusions

If you have these symptoms or observe them in someone else and believe they’ve overdosed, you should seek medical treatment right once. If you know you’ve used drugs or have witnessed someone else take drugs, you’ll be able to identify if these signs suggest an overdose. Getting medical care as soon as possible can make a significant difference in the efficacy of drug overdose treatment.

Treatment

The treatment for a drug overdose depends on the circumstances. During therapy, knowing how much of each medicine was used might be incredibly beneficial. This information, however, is not always available. Healthcare practitioners may employ the following general treatment strategies:

  • When there is a problem with breathing, the airway is cleared or a breathing tube is inserted.
  • providing activated charcoal, which helps the medication absorb in the digestive system
  • causing vomiting in order to get the drug out of your stomach
  • removing the material from the stomach by pumping it
  • intravenous fluids to aid in the elimination of the drug from the body.

For some drug overdoses, the healthcare professional may be able to administer an antidote. The medication naloxone, for example, can help reverse the symptoms of a heroin overdose.

Keeping an overdose from happening

Overdoses can be avoided in a variety of ways. In the first place, the best techniques eliminate chances for accidental overdose or triggers for purposeful overdose.

If you have children, ensure sure any drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, are kept out of their reach.

If you use prescription medications, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Do not take any drugs together without first consulting your doctor to ensure that it is safe. You should also consult your doctor before mixing alcohol with prescription medications.

Quitting is the greatest method to avoid a drug overdose if you abuse drugs. Be aware that certain medication administration methods are riskier than others. Inhaling or injecting drugs may speed up their arrival in your brain, but it also raises your chances of using a quantity that is dangerous. Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble quitting. There are several programs available to assist you. Read more about overcoming addiction for additional information.

Contact your doctor straight away if you’re experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts. Your doctor can assist you in obtaining the mental treatment you require.

Suicide prevention is important

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number if you believe someone is in urgent danger of self-harm or harming another person.
  • Stay with the individual until assistance comes.
  • Take away any firearms, knives, medicines, or other potentially dangerous items.
  • Listen without passing judgement, arguing, threatening, or yelling.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call a crisis or suicide prevention hotline for assistance. Call 800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Causes of Drug Over dosage

An accidental overdose or purposeful abuse of a substance is the cause of an overdose. Accidental overdoses occur when a kid or an adult with reduced mental skills swallows a drug that has been placed within their reach. Adults (particularly elderly and individuals who take a lot of drugs) might accidentally take the wrong medication or the wrong dose of a medication. Overdosing on purpose is done for a specific aim, such as getting high or harming oneself.

Young children may inadvertently take medicines as a result of their interest about any medications they come across. Children under the age of five (particularly those aged six months to three years) have a habit of putting whatever they discover in their mouths.

In this age range, drug overdoses are most commonly caused by someone leaving a medicine within reach of the kid. When toddlers come upon medicines, they frequently share them with other children. As a result, if you suspect an overdose in one kid when other children are around, the medicine may have been consumed by those other children as well.

When Should You Seek Medical Help?

A suspected drug overdose can be assessed by your doctor, a local poison center, or the emergency room of your local hospital. The development of any symptoms following a drug overdose need rapid and precise information regarding the substance’s particular name, dosage, and time of administration. Frequently, the information needed may be found on the bottle the medicine arrived in.

Some physicians’ offices are set up to deal with overdoses, while others aren’t. Some physicians’ offices encourage their patients to go to the emergency room of a hospital. An ambulance should generally be dispatched by dialing 911 in life-threatening situations. You’re not supposed to be able to tell when a drug overdose is dangerous. If you are unable to reach a trained expert to address the overdose over the phone, you should transport the overdosed individual to the nearest hospital’s emergency room or medical institution.

When dealing with a drug overdose, proceed with caution.

When dealing with a drug overdose, proceed with caution. Each person reacts differently, and it’s difficult to forecast how they’ll react. Many patients who are told they need to go to the emergency room don’t show any symptoms of poisoning. Others will be really unwell.

If a person refuses to go to the hospital, skilled experts in emergency medical services (paramedics and ambulance workers) or law enforcement authorities may be needed to persuade them. You can get these services by dialing 911. Family members might also help persuade a person to seek medical attention.

Anyone who is with someone who has overdosed on drugs can help by searching for all medicine or chemical containers and bringing them to the hospital.

Treatment for Drug Overdose

The exact substance used in the overdose will determine the course of treatment. The quantity, duration, and underlying medical concerns mentioned will be really useful. Find out more about how to recover from an overdose.

Gastric lavage (stomach pumping) may be used to wash out the stomach on rare instances to physically remove unabsorbed medications.

To assist bind medicines and retain them in the stomach and intestines, activated charcoal may be administered. The quantity absorbed into the blood is reduced as a result. The medication is subsequently evacuated in the stool, linked to the charcoal. Often, a cathartic is administered along with the charcoal to help the person expel faces from their bowels more rapidly.

Treatment for Drug Overdose

The exact substance used in the overdose will determine the course of treatment. The quantity, duration, and underlying medical concerns mentioned will be really useful. Find out more about how to recover from an overdose.

Gastric lavage (stomach pumping) may be used to wash out the stomach on rare instances to physically remove unabsorbed medications.

To assist bind medicines and retain them in the stomach and intestines, activated charcoal may be administered. The quantity absorbed into the blood is reduced as a result. The medication is subsequently evacuated in the stool, linked to the charcoal. Often, a cathartic is administered along with the charcoal to help the person expel faces from their bowels more rapidly.

People who are agitated or aggressive may require physical restraint and, in certain cases, sedative medicines in the emergency room until the pills’ effects wear off. This can be upsetting for both the individual who is experiencing it and the family members who are witnessing it. Medical experts go to considerable measures to ensure that they only use as much force and medicine as is required. It’s vital to remember that the medical staff’s first goal is to safeguard the person they’re caring for. During the detoxification procedure, the individual may need to be intubated (had a tube inserted in the airway) so that the doctor can protect the lungs or assist the person breathe.

At-Home Self-Care

Without first contacting a doctor or a poison specialist, home treatment should not be attempted.

The local poison control center may prescribe home treatment and surveillance for some accidental drug overdoses. Ipecac syrup or other treatments should not be given unless advised by a medical expert due to the risk of complications from certain overdosing.

The majority of individuals have phone access to a poison control center in their area. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (www.aapcc.org) or 1-800-222-1222 will help you find one near you.

Anyone with little children should have the “poison line” phone number close to the phone.

People who overdose on drugs in an attempt to hurt themselves usually need psychological help in addition to poison control. Even if the overdose appears to be minor, those who overdose for this purpose must be brought to a hospital’s emergency room. These persons are at danger of committing suicide in the future. The sooner you act, the more likely you are to prevent suicide.

The FDA has authorized a prescription therapy that may be used by family members or caregivers to treat someone who has had an opioid overdose or is suspected of having had one. Opioids are a class of medicines that includes both prescription pain relievers and illegal street narcotics.

Steps to Follow Follow-up

Every person who has taken an overdose should visit their doctor for follow-up. This is partly to guarantee that no organ systems suffer from delayed damage. It’s important to ensure that there’s a plan in place to prevent a repeat.

Psychiatric treatment is required after an intentional drug overdose has been handled and the person is no longer in urgent medical danger. A mental health examination should be sought for everyone who abuses illegal substances. Finding a support group for a mental health or drug addiction issue may be quite beneficial.

The experience of being treated for an overdose may have been scary for youngsters. They require assistance in both coping with the trauma and learning from their mistakes. Following up with their pediatrician can help them feel less anxious while also providing a valuable learning opportunity. Their parents are in the same boat. Do not assign blame or point fingers. Use the follow-up appointment to talk about prevention.

Outlook

Many people can recover effectively and without permanent physical impairment depending on which drugs are consumed in an overdose.

Some medicines can harm specific organ systems for a short period of time. The improvement is initially noticed in the hospital, then at home. Overdosing, on the other hand, might result in irreversible harm to some organ systems. The liver and kidneys are two organ systems that are particularly vulnerable.

Suppression of lung and heart function can cause irreversible brain injury.

If the mental health issues that led to the deliberate overdose are not treated, the individual will be at risk for further drug overdoses in the future. Overdosing on several occasions might have a cumulative effect on certain organ systems.

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