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What Happens After Overdose

If you or someone you love are at risk of overdosing, you may wonder what happens next and what you can do to respond and recover. Learn these overdose facts to help yourself and others know what to do after an overdose.

What Happens After Overdose

How Dangerous Is an Overdose?

Not all drug or alcohol use results in death by overdose, but many can. Overdoses are very dangerous in any circumstance and can lead to severe, short- and long-term consequences if left untreated. The substance’s toxicity levels and effects can interfere with your brain and body’s functionality over time. Some effects could lead to cognitive impairments affecting your memory and ability to see or hear properly.

An estimated 31.9 million people in the U.S. used drugs in 2021, and over 100,000 people have died from an overdose in the same year — the highest number of deaths on record. While overdose deaths have increased for years in the U.S., they surged from 2019 to 2021, resulting in a 50% increase in annual deaths from drug overdoses. 

Symptoms of overdoses vary depending on the substance used, but many can be dangerous for your body to experience. Some common symptoms include:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • A rapid change in body temperature, low or high
  • Drastic increase or decrease in heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech

Although overdose deaths have risen, there are instances of overdosing and not dying. However, the dangers of overdosing can leave a lasting impact on your life. Finding a proper treatment to help you recover safely and effectively is crucial to leading a better and healthier life.

How Common Is Relapse After Overdose?

Overcoming addiction and overdose takes time. While working toward recovery, it’s natural for relapse to be a part of the process. Between 40 and 60% of people with substance use disorders relapse after treatment. You are not alone if you relapse. Many treatment plans for overdose are available to help reduce the risk of relapse.

While you may think relapsing defeats the purpose of recovery, it does not. Recovery is still possible after surviving an overdose and relapsing. The treatment and work you put into recovering will help you learn ways to cope with and prevent other relapses.

How Common Is Recovery After Overdose?

Recovery after an overdose is very common. One of the first steps to recovery is receiving treatment. According to data from 2020, about 13% of people with substance use disorder receive treatment. Overdose recovery can last for days or weeks, but its lessons and goals last much longer. 

Substance use recovery will always be lifelong, but people can fully recover. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that 75% of people with substance use disorders enter remission after receiving treatment. You or someone you know can recover from an overdose and begin living a fuller life.

Receive Treatment at Gateway Foundation

If you or a loved one are at risk of an overdose, Gateway Foundation can help you start the path to recovery. Speak with one of our care coordinators when you call 877-505-HOPE(4673) or contact us today. 

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