As the access to prescription drugs as well as substances available through other means increases, the rate of overdose dramatically increases as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Overdose deaths remain a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States.”
Destiny Recovery Center (DRC) is now assisting in combatting this overdose epidemic being witnessed across the nation. By offering detox, inpatient treatment, and aftercare services, each client gains tools to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse. Whether a loved one became reliant on prescription medication or another substance, DRC is prepared to walk clients through the process and support them in their sobriety.
Why Overdose Is Occurring More Frequently in Adults
One of the major contributing factors to overdose is access to opioid medications. According to the CDC, “More than 191 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed to American patients in 2017.” Prescription opioids are used to treat moderate to severe pain. However, they are highly addictive. The misuse of prescription medications can quickly lead to the abuse of other substances.
Beyond the medical field, the ability to locate substances within an individual’s neighborhood has become nearly impossible to address. Substances are being created faster than the entire world can consume. Someone coping with chronic pain a few years ago, who is no longer in need of the actual prescription, easily finds a substitute from a friend of a friend to replace it. Unfortunately, substances found through this method often contain more deadly concoctions, such as fentanyl. This is often the cause of an overdose or other adverse reactions.
Data on Overdose
The CDC has created a dashboard, “SUDORS,” sharing fairly up-to-date data on fatal overdose rates across the United States. SUDORS is the CDC’s State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System. According to the CDC, there were a total of 50,943 fatal overdose deaths in 2021. The CDC also created the DOSE dashboard to track data for nonfatal overdose statistics.
These programs were created to collect data efficiently in order to identify what substances are leading to the most overdoses as well as ways they can improve interventions. The main goal is to prevent as many fatalities as possible caused by this epidemic.
Rates are broken down into categories, including the type of substance, sex, age, ethnicity, and state. Other factors, such as if someone else was present, what may have preceded the overdose, mental health diagnosis, and other possible interventions, are also shared. These statistics are crucial in understanding where the need for interventions lies, what populations need the most assistance and addressing the improvements that can be made.
Signs of an Overdose
The signs of an overdose will vary on multiple factors, including:
- Which substances were taken
- How much of a substance was taken
- The method of use (injection, smoking, ingestion)
- State of health
However, common signs of overdose include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Awake but unresponsive
- Limp body
- Slow or erratic pulse
- Difficulty breathing
- Choking or gurgling sounds
- Blue fingernails or lips
- Pale or clammy face
- Loss of consciousness
Resources to Prevent/Intercept an Overdose
If someone is experiencing an overdose, an individual should call 911 right away. In the case of opioid overdoses, Narcan can be used. Narcan rapidly reduces opioid overdose.
Other resources for preventing overdose include the following:
- The CDC has shared its mission to prevent overdose, including making major connections in the community, reducing stigma, equality in healthcare, and addressing underlying factors.
- Along with facts on what an overdose looks like and what to do if you witness an overdose, individuals can discover where to locate Narcan in their state. If a loved one is at increased risk of an overdose, it is recommended to have access to this in the event of an overdose.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers an Opioid Overdose Toolkit on their website full of information and steps to take
- The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shares its Overdose Prevention Strategy including links to local resources.
Destiny Recovery Center’s Impact on Overdose
Not only does DRC make an impact by helping individuals start their recovery journey and prepare them for long-term sobriety, but we are also major advocates for reducing the stigma around substance use issues and addiction. DRC works alongside many community organizations to strengthen connections and promote awareness. Our presence within the community is a solid model of beautiful recovery, giving back, and sharing experience, strength, and hope with others.
Being a resource for others in the area looking for solutions and assistance with substance use disorder (SUD) encourages those running out of hope. Having a safe space with caring staff that is welcoming and compassionate makes the transition from struggling with substance abuse to sobriety seem effortless.
Overdose, whether intentional or not, impacts more than just the one person experiencing it. It changes the lives of everyone who knows the person. If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental health crisis or substance abuse, reach out today.
Overdose is, unfortunately, becoming prevalent not only in today’s youth but in our adult communities as well. This is a crisis in which we all need to become aware and prepared for how we may intervene. Understanding the symptoms of an overdose and possible interventions could save someone’s life. An overdose can also be the doorway opening to a willingness to begin recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with battling addiction, reach out to Destiny Recovery Center today to find out how we may support you and facilitate the transition into a life of recovery. Call us today at (909) 413-4304 for more information on our treatment options.