Renaissance Ranch

Understand the Risks of an Overdose

Nov 15, 2016

Today we’re continuing our talk about overdoses. Although it’s a scary subject, it’s an important thing for anyone who struggles with addiction to know about. It’s also important for their loved ones to know what to do in an emergency, since they’re usually the first response team.

When Is Someone Most At Risk for Overdose?

One of the scariest things about overdose is that people are most at risk after detox, or a period of non-use. During that time, your body becomes less tolerant of the drug, and so risk of overdose increases. Often, when someone relapses after detox, they take the same amount of the substance that they’re used to at the height of their use. However, since their body no longer has that level of immunity to the drug, it gets overloaded.

Overdose By the Numbers

Half of all drug-related deaths are caused by overdose. It’s estimated that over 200,000 people die by overdose every year. America alone accounted for almost 50,000 overdose deaths in 2014. These overdoses killed men and women of all races, ages, and socioeconomic statuses. Some say that America is in the midst of an overdose epidemic, as the numbers are rising at an alarming rate. Between 2013 and 2014, overdose deaths rose 6.5 per cent.

Good Samaritan Laws Protect Witnesses in Utah

In response to the high number of overdose deaths in Utah, a law was enacted in 2014 which grants certain levels of immunity for drug charges when someone seeks emergency medical help for an overdose. This law, often called the “Good Samaritan law” seeks to encourage those who are in a position to help people in danger to call, and not hesitate due to a fear of consequences for being found in a compromising position. No one should be denied aid, or fear to reach out for help. This immunity also applies for the person who has suffered an overdose. It’s important to remember that no one can recover from addiction if they’re not alive to do so.

Naloxone Can Prevent Opioid Overdose Death

Naloxone is a drug that brings heartrate and breathing back up after a depressant overdose. This drug is safe, inexpensive, and available to laymen in Utah, so if you are aware of opioid overdose risk, it’s a smart thing to have on hand. Remember, though, that Naloxone isn’t a substitute for professional help. It lasts between 30 and 90 minutes. Because it’s short-term, depending on the overdose, if someone doesn’t get help in that time, they’re still at risk.