How does an overdose play out across different substances?

Overdoses from substances can cause significant health issues or death, and they can occur from almost any substance a person can abuse.

When an overdose occurs, immediate medical care can help prevent death in many cases, but it is important to recognize the signs to know when to get someone help. Let’s look at some of the signs of what an overdose of various substances will include.

What does an overdose on alcohol look like?

Known as alcohol poisoning, an alcohol overdose occurs when the blood alcohol level is incredibly high. Symptoms of this can include being unconscious, having irregular breathing, being unable to be woken up, or a slowed heart rate. It can also include clammy or blue skin, seizures, and vomiting.

People who suffer from alcohol poisoning multiple times and who may continue to drink despite the risk may be suffering from an addiction and can benefit from structured treatment for drugs and alcohol.

What does an overdose on opioids look like?

The opioid epidemic makes this type of overdose one of the most common today. Signs can include pale or clammy skin, blue or purple skin, a limp body, being unconscious, or being unable to stay away. They may have an incredibly slow heart rate, slow breathing, and tiny pupils, and they may vomit.

Any of these signs should mean helping the person get emergency medical assistance, as it is possible to die from an opioid overdose.

What does an overdose on sedatives look like?

Sedatives are generally only used medically for a short period of time, but have the potential to be abused. When someone takes too many sedatives, they can enter a coma or die as a result. Some of the signs of a sedative overdose include extreme weakness, slurred speech, drowsiness, and vomiting.

Other signs can include a slow heart rate, slow breathing, being unconscious, and being unable to be woken up. Immediate medical attention is necessary to prevent death.

What does an overdose on stimulants look like?

The opposite of sedatives, stimulants are medications that can cause someone to be more active. They can have a euphoric effect, so they are commonly abused, but this can be dangerous.

A stimulant overdose may be marked by mood swings, anxiety or paranoia, aggression, irritability, and tremors. They may experience confusion, chest pains, or high blood pressure. In some cases, an overdose of stimulants can lead to psychosis or hallucinations. Fast help is needed to prevent more serious complications.

What does an overdose on cannabis look like?

Though cannabis is generally seen as safe, it is possible to overdose. This is especially common when children get ahold of cannabis. Signs of an overdose may include a rapid heart rate, anxiety, vomiting, or respiratory distress. The person may also experience paranoia, hallucinations, delirium, or psychosis. It is crucial to monitor the symptoms carefully and seek medical care so that the person can safely recover.

What does an overdose on synthetic drugs look like?

Synthetic drugs are not standardized, so doses can vary significantly. This means it’s incredibly easy for someone to end up overdosing on them. Signs can include high body temperature, high blood pressure, a rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, and anxiety or panic. The person may have trouble sleeping, vomiting, seizures, psychosis, or hallucinations, too. Since the symptoms can vary, it is crucial to seek medical attention for an overdose.

Know the signs of an overdose and when to seek help

Overdosing is not always fatal, but it can be, so it is crucial to know the signs of an overdose and when to seek medical help. For those who are going through addiction, professional assistance can help with recovery and prevent a potential overdose.