How Continued Drug Use Leads to an Overdose

How Continued Drug Use Leads to an Overdose

The natural progression of drug use leads to drug overdose

If you are currently addicted to using drugs — whether the substances are legal or illegal — you are at great risk for an overdose. Regardless of what drugs are used; if you are taking more of it over time, you will build up a tolerance, which can place you in a very risky and dangerous situation. Addiction does not just come and go. If you are not sure if you are demonstrating addictive behavior, here are a few questions to consider:

  • Is your drug use interfering with your daily life and obligations?
  • Do you think about using drugs all the time?
  • Do you often wake up in strange places, unable to remember what happened from the night before?
  • Are you using more drugs or not sure how much you are using?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you have a drug problem and it would be wise to seek out treatment immediately. Talk to your doctor or feel free to call our helpline where one of our counselors will be glad to speak with you.

Consider the following points and how they demonstrate that continued drug use leads to overdose.

Substance abuse worsens over time

As you continue to use drugs, it takes more of the drug to get the same effect. How a drug affects you can be different than how it affects someone else, so your addiction could escalate rapidly. Some drugs, such as opioid painkillers, can be addictive and can lead to other drug use such as heroin. In 2014, there were 10,574 heroin overdose deaths. This is five times the increase of the heroin death rate from 2002 to 2014.[1] If you are struggling with any form of drug abuse, please seek help. It is still substance abuse, even if the drugs came from a pharmacy. You can do something about your drug problem today.

Not all drugs are the same

Drugs can be very confusing when you are under the influence. A white powdery substance can be many different drugs — such as meth, cocaine or even heroin. With illegal drugs, it is very possible that the drug is not pure and has a cutting agent in it such as a sweetener, starch, flower, powdered milk and other substances — even other drugs. The truth is you have no idea what is inside illegal drugs. But this same logic applies to prescription drugs as well. You should never use prescriptions that are for another individual, even if it is another family member. For example, let’s say you were to take a couple OxyContin tablets prescribed for your spouse or relative. You were prescribed 10 mg tablets but the ones your loved one has are 15 mg. You don’t know there is a difference between the two prescriptions. So, if you take two tablets, it is the same as taking three of the smaller dosage. If you decide to take three and you normally take two 10 mg pills, you are actually taking 45 mgs. This is over double the amount your body is used to and can lead to drug overdose.

Several drugs taken together can lead to overdose

If you were to drink alcohol while taking drugs, you are even more inebriated. You can easily think a drug is one kind but it is actually another. You also do not how pure a drug is. You could take the same amount as normal or just a little more than usual and overdose. When you are drunk or high, you are much more likely to pop another pill just to experiment. The combination of different drugs in different doses can be a deadly combination. The truth is every time you take drugs, you are at risk for an overdose. There is no “safe addiction.” Addiction is defined by being a chemical imbalance in your brain that leads you to impulsive and compulsive behavior, despite the consequences.

If you are an addict, on some level you don’t just search for a drug. There are several things that all addictions have in common: the search for emotional satisfaction that gives a sense of security, a sense of being loved, even a sense of control over life. But as you know, the gratification is temporary, and the behavior leads to problems such as self-disgust, reduced psychological security, and poorer coping ability.[2] If you are facing these issues or you know someone who is struggling with substance abuse, please call our helpline and talk to one of our counselors. You can get all of the information you need. If you would like to know more about treatment, this is a simple way to find out more details. There is no obligation on your part, the only thing that will be asked of you is some basic demographical information and what prompted your call. Make the call so you can move forward today.


[1] Prescription Opioids and Heroin

[2] Addiction in Society: Blinded by Biochemistry. Peele, Stanton. Published on September 1st, 2010.