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Providing education to prevent drug overdose




Many Americans and people in other developed countries are taking a variety of medical conditions, medical conditions, or medications for their medical conditions.1

The goal of most medications is to relieve the condition and improve quality of life, but some medications, if taken in excess of the recommended daily dose or improperly taken, It can damage the organs or organ system. Drug misuse can lead to other adverse consequences, including overdose.2

Drug overdose is commonly described as a condition characterized by mild side effects, brain damage, coma, permanent physical injury, and even overdose of certain drugs that can cause death. Overdose of drugs is not well understood as a public health problem.3 Symptoms of drug overdose depend on the type and amount of drug you are taking. Abuse and / or misuse occurs with both OTC and prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are the most common class of antidepressants, depressants, narcotics, opioids, etc. and have a high rate of death from overdose.4,5 Immediate identification and treatment of drug overdose can be a determinant between life and death. Most drugs can have both therapeutic and toxic consequences, but recognizing high-alert drugs that generally cause overdose is important to promote prevention.

In 2019, more than 70,000 Americans died from drug-related overdose, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This includes the use of prescription opioids and illicit drugs.6

Symptoms of drug overdose are difficult to recognize because they can have serious or fatal consequences if an individual does not know if they have taken a particular drug within a particular time frame. there is.7 The most common signs or symptoms of drug overdose include abdominal pain, chest pain, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, arrhythmia, nausea, and vomiting.8 It is important to perform a comprehensive assessment to provide prompt treatment in the event of suspected overdose.

Drug overdose can be categorized as accidental or intentional. Overdose can detect elevated levels of certain drugs in the blood, such as acetaminophen and other drugs that have a narrow window between therapeutic and toxic effects.9 Using a drug to achieve an effect that goes beyond the effects associated with normal use can be a danger signal.

Determining if an overdose has occurred may include determining the amount of medication taken, observing symptoms, and doing a physical examination. The treatment of the medicine depends on the medicine you have taken. Immediate action may be required to remove the drug from the body and prevent death. Stomach pumping may be required to remove unabsorbed medication. Activated carbon is commonly used to reduce the amount absorbed by the system.Ten Another drug called catharsis can be used to induce excretion from the intestines or to get rid of the drug by vomiting. The goal is to remove the offending agent from the system and restore the individual to its original state before taking the drug.

Although the number of fatal drug overdose continues to grow, death can be avoided by instantly identifying signs and symptoms.11 Knowledge of what constitutes drug overdose and receiving appropriate treatment can help reduce these tragic occurrences. The number of drug overdose can be dramatically reduced only by continuously monitoring dosing patterns and intake and providing a safe supply.12

Abimbola Farinde, PharmDIs a pharmacist at Cornerstone Hospital in Webster, Texas.


  1. Katzung B. Medical conditions and their commonly used drugs. eMedExpert.Updated November 17, 2017. Accessed February 9, 2021.
  2. American Poisoning Center. Updated February 4, 2020. Accessed February 9, 2021. How can the nervous system be affected by long-term substance abuse?
  3. Martins SS, Sampson L, Cerdá M, Galea S. Global epidemics and trends in unintended drug overdose: a systematic review of the literature. J is public health.. 2015; 105 (11): e29-49. Doi: 10.2105 / AJPH.2015.302843
  4. United Behavior Health. Prescription drugs that cause more deaths than illegal drugs. Accessed on February 9, 2021.
  5. Mayo Clinic. How to use opioids safely. Accessed on February 9, 2021.
  6. National Institute of Substance Abuse. Mortality from overdose. January 21, 2021. Accessed on February 8, 2021.,%20drug%20overdose%20deaths%20rose%20from%202018%20to,more%20than% 2036,359% 20overdose% 20deaths% 20reported% 20in% 202019
  7. Thomas S. Overdose. American Poisoning Center. Updated September 28, 2020. Accessed February 9, 2021.
  8. Farinde A. How can I slow down the rate of drug overdose? Multi Briefs: Exclusive.. February 24, 2014. Accessed on February 9, 2021.
  9. National Institute of Substance Abuse. Death from intentional vs. unintentional overdose. February 13, 2017. Accessed on February 9, 2021. https: //
  10. Experts say King L. activated charcoal can interfere with medication and cause dehydration. The hustle and bustle. November 12, 2019. Accessed on February 9, 2021. https: //
  11. Overdose of Fox M. Drug has spurred an increase in accidental deaths, the report said. NBC News.. June 17, 2015. Accessed on February 9, 2021.
  12. Is it possible to reduce mortality from drug overdose during a Culbert L. Covid pandemic? Vancouver Sun... November 14, 2020. Accessed on February 9, 2021. https: //


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