What is overdose? Overdose symptoms, consequences. What to do when overdose?

What is overdose? This is the most dangerous situation in the life of drug addicts. The prohibited substances taken by them are toxic. And an addict, by exceeding the dose, runs the risk of causing irreparable harm to his health, or even dying. However, first things first.

what is overdose

Common causes

Talking about what an overdose is, they should be noted first of all. There are five most common reasons why it usually happens. That's what it is about:

  • The simultaneous use of several drugs of the same group, the decision to “drink” the substance with alcohol. How to avoid? Do not mix drugs, do not drink alcohol.
  • Too clean dope. You can not use a large dose at once, and even more so to inject it. It is not known what a healthy organism will have in reaction to pure toxin.
  • Drug of unknown origin. Here is the same as in the previous case. By accepting "something", bought from the streets is not clear from whom, you can risk your life.
  • Drug use in an unknown company. Dependent - a dubious society. It is not recommended to take the drug from someone from an unfamiliar circle or to enter into the vein a ready, proposed injection by someone. Anything can be mixed inside.
  • Insatiable desire to repeat. Often, addicts feel a new dose only a couple of minutes after taking the drug, and it becomes impossible to resist it. Such "greed" can lead to horrific consequences.

There is a sixth reason, obvious. Most often, an overdose occurs due to the fact that the addict simply did not calculate his "norm". Each organism has its own limit, and some may die to the dose, which for others is just a “warm-up”.

Influencing factors

Continuing the theme of what an overdose is, it is important to mention a few more nuances that determine the lethality of the dose in a given situation. These include the method of administering the drug, the general condition of the body, the presence of other substances in the blood. Medicines or alcohol contained in it reduce the tolerated “rate”.

Theoretically, an overdose of drugs can cause any psychotropic substance. However, most often it occurs due to the use of:

  • Depressants. These include hypnotic substances, heroin, black meat (opium), methadone, morphine, xanax, valium, oxycodone, etc. Barbiturates are especially dangerous. They are addictive and addictive. Starting to use these substances, in the future without them a person will not even be able to fall asleep. And barbiturate breakdowns are suffering, accompanied by epileptic seizures, insomnia, painful discomfort throughout the body. Since the dose constantly has to be increased, many of them once, without having calculated, exceed it to the lethal threshold.
  • Stimulants. These include amphetamines (aids), methamphetamine (screw), cocaine, dexamphetamine, crack, phenamine, ecstasy, etc.

An overdose of the listed substances occurs most often because the usually taken dose is close to the maximum tolerated. Which, by the way, is calculated based on the body mass of a person and the toxicity index of a drug - Id50.

dead from overdose

What happens to the body

When the maximum tolerated dose is exceeded, the effect of the drug on the brain becomes more intense, active and difficult to tolerate.But it is he who controls the work of all organs, including the respiratory system and the heart.

The central nervous system drugs are also directly influenced - either by stimulating it or oppressing it. If either of these two actions is exceeded, a violation of vital functions occurs.

On this basis, it is possible to give another, more detailed answer to the question of what overdose is. This is a violation of nervous, cardiac and respiratory activity, which is caused by the introduction of too large doses of the drug.

About heroin overdose

Now you can go to specific examples. Heroin is a semi-synthetic opioid, a derivative of morphine. It is considered one of the most severe, dangerous and fastest causing dependence substances. And it is in people who are "sitting" on this drug, most often overdose occurs. Heroin causes severe intoxication. And by what signs its presence can be determined:

  • Great drowsiness.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Impaired breathing It becomes very rare and hoarse, it can even stop.
  • Intensive salivation or vomiting.
  • Violent, persistent cough, accompanied by sputum.
  • Blue skin.
  • Threaded pulse.
  • Constriction of the pupils, alternating with their expansion.
  • Hypotension (decrease in pressure).
  • Gooey sweating. Despite her presence, the addict feels cold.
  • Low body temperature.

In addition, a person can go foam from the mouth, start convulsions or cause impairment of consciousness (from lethargy right up to coma). Symptoms of overdose by other opiates are similar.

overdose pills

Giving help

Noticing the symptoms of heroin overdose, you must act immediately. You can not throw a man alone, otherwise he may die. Nothing goes away by itself. But in time and competently provided first aid can save him.

If he is conscious, you need to bother him, thereby not allowing him to "turn off". In parallel, without losing a second, it is necessary to call the Ambulance in order to call qualified specialists to provide professional assistance.

If a person is unconscious, you need to check his pain reaction. For example, push hard on the chest with your knuckles, rub your ears. Or try to bring it to life with the help of ammonia.

In the event of vomiting, lay the victim on its side in order to clear the airway and prevent the tongue from dropping.

The worst is if the person has stopped breathing. In such a situation, the intravenous administration of the drug “Naloxone” in the amount of 0.4 mg can save. If injected into the muscle, the dose will have to be increased to 1 mg. Internal use is ineffective because this drug is rapidly metabolized in the liver. But when administered parenterally, it passes the gastrointestinal tract and acts after 1-3 minutes.

Naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist, an effective antidote. One ampoule costs approximately 200 rubles. "Naloxone" instantly brings to life and neutralizes the effect of heroin, but it acts briefly, so it must be administered within an hour every 5-10 minutes.

If the respiratory activity and pulse are not restored, you will have to resort to pulmonary breathing resuscitation and a closed heart massage.

There are also certain restrictions. A person can not be administered intravenously any other stimulants in order to dislodge the "wedge wedge." It is forbidden to transfer the victim to a bath with cold water for the sake of bringing him to his senses. His breathing may stop and he will simply drown. It is better to replace it with a contrast shower.

can you die of overdose

Ecstasy (MDMA)

It is a psychoactive amphetamine-type narcotic, traditionally in the form of pills. In general, according to doctors, pure MDMA is even safer than alcohol and tobacco, as it belongs to low-risk recreational substances.

Just now it can not be found. Pure ecstasy is long gone. What is being proposed is most often a mixture of MDMA with heroin, cocaine, LSD, and methamphetamine. In the cheapest versions they even find rat poison. Having bought ecstasy of unknown origin, a person risks his life. For the concentration of the main substance in it will be minimal. And he will have to use as much as possible to achieve the desired effect. As a result - overdose pills. Death is possible.

As a rule, overdose is manifested by sudden loss of consciousness. It is necessary to immediately provide assistance - check whether the person is alive, provide resuscitation, call the ambulance. To bring it to life, it is necessary to cool the body with rubbings, shower, ice being applied to the body.

Since an overdose of pills causes severe dehydration, rehydration is required - restoring water balance.Here will help "Regidron" - instant powder, which must be diluted with water and give them drink the victim. This drug effectively restores the water-salt balance in the body.

Before the arrival of specialists, you need to keep a person in mind. Ecstasy has no antidote, so the only way to save the victim is to remove the substance from the body. In the hospital, he will receive intravenous detoxification solutions for this.


This, as some may be known, is a smoking mixture containing synthetic cannabinoids. It is dangerous because it is impossible to calculate the maximum tolerated dose for the spice. Since any amount of this mixture has a negative effect on the organs of the internal system. Moreover, there is no one “universal” formula for the spice. It is sold in bags, and in all of them there is usually a different composition. So it is impossible to predict what kind of effect the spice will give.

This drug produces a hallucinogenic effect immediately. The main symptom of an overdose spice is the vision of various nightmares, mystical or scary creatures.The creatures look frighteningly realistic, many drug addicts swear that they have seen them chasing them. Unfortunately, a lot of suicides happen due to powerful hallucinations.

But sometimes the effect is different. A used spice behaves inhibited, it can vomit, tear. Often there is increased pressure. Vessels are constricted, loss of consciousness or clinical death is possible.

What to do when overdose spice? Do not let the addict commit acts that are unaware of him. In parallel, call a psychiatric brigade. The main task is to calm him down. And before the arrival of specialists to control the pulse, breathing. Having taken a person, psychiatrists will take him to a hospital and lock him on a bed, after which he will be detoxified without difficulty and connected to a respirator. Symptomatic therapy aimed at normalizing blood pressure and brain work is also indispensable.

spice overdose


This is a methyl ester of benzoylecgonine, belonging to the alkaloids of the tropane series. Cocaine has a strong effect on the central nervous system and causes a feeling of euphoria. The effect lasts about 15-20 minutes. Is it possible to die from overdose with this substance? Of course.

Many do not control the dose. First inhale 15-60 grams. But the effect is short, and addicts want to fix it. Dose increases. Then it is exceeded both for the continuation of the effect, and because the previous amount no longer leads to the desired euphoria.

So go over any borders here easily. Symptoms of cocaine overdose are as follows:

  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Great thirst and dry mouth.
  • Cyanosis of the mucous membranes and skin.
  • Irritability and psychomotor agitation.
  • Confused consciousness.
  • Increased sweating.
  • Tremor of the limbs.
  • Chills accompanied by fever.
  • Seizures and cramps.

In some cases, a heart attack may occur. This is due to a spasm of the coronary arteries that feed the heart muscle. The same phenomenon often provokes a pronounced arrhythmia.

Hypoxia may also occur, resulting in myocardial infarction, leading to rapid death. The result of all of the above is death. And unfortunately, there are a lot of people who died from an overdose of cocaine - they simply did not have time to provide appropriate assistance.

 drug overdose

Help with cocaine poisoning

First you need to lay a man, to provide him with psycho-emotional and physical peace. Turn his head to the side if he is unconscious, and not leave without control until the doctors arrive. At any time, aspiration of vomit or language sinking can happen - you need to be there to prevent it.

Constraining clothing must be removed or loosened. In the room where the victim is located, fresh air and coolness should flow.

Be sure to do cold compresses to the patient, constantly changing them. Cool both forehead and body. One should not resort to antipyretic - they are ineffective in these situations.

When you stop breathing, you must urgently perform an indirect heart massage or perform artificial respiration - until the heartbeat is resumed, or until the doctors arrive. There is no antidote, treatment is required. As a rule, it is oxygen therapy, infusion of saline solutions, gastric lavage and benzodiazepines, necessary for the relief of psychomotor agitation. If the case is complicated, use barbiturates.

About the consequences

Overdose drug addicts in all cases expect a long recovery.The constant excess of the “norm” has an irreversible effect on the state of the nervous system, internal organs, and the brain. And when an overdose happens, everything becomes very bad. From the hospital, if an addict could be put in there, after recovery, a deeply ill person emerges who has become physically and morally disabled. The consequences of an overdose are such that he will need constant psychiatric and medical assistance.

He will have to go through a lot. Here are just a small part:

  • Restoration of the digestive system. Stimulation of the former appetite, attempts to gain weight.
  • Enhance immunity.
  • Recovery of the psyche. Survivor overdose, as a rule, absorbs apathy and indifference. He does not want anything at all. He does not even know what exactly he would like.
  • Attempts to recover from hypoxia (oxygen starvation).
  • The return of clear consciousness.
  • Attempts to learn to be able to concentrate again.

Unfortunately, everything comes with difficulty. It would be possible to list the consequences of drug use, but this, firstly, will take more than one page, and secondly, we are talking about psychotropic prohibited substances.And without explanation, it is clear that they have a negative impact on the entire body, taking away from a person all health.

death from overdose

Drug victims

Unfortunately, the number of addicts in the world is in the tens of millions. As for Russia, the Federal Drug Control Service report for 2016 says that about 18,000,000 citizens of our country have some experience in the use of prohibited substances. And 8,000,000 take them regularly.

Dead from overdose in the tens of thousands. Among them are world stars.

Musician of the 60s-70s Tim Buckley died at the age of 28 from an overdose of heroin mixed with alcohol.

Sid Vicious, bassist for the Sex Pistols, died of the same drug. He took the dose, lost consciousness, and when he was brought to his senses, he repeated. He was 21 years old.

Russian poetess Anna Gorenko also died at 27 not by her own death - from heroin overdose.

Also, because of the overdose of this drug, people such as rock musician Kevin Michael Allin (known as GG Allin), actresses Jinn Eagles and Sonya Savich, singer of Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone Andrew Wood, rapper Alex Perminov and dozens of others died of people.

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