How Long Does It Take To Overdose? Does It Mean I Will Die?

July 14, 2020 | alcohol , drugs

overdose may cause panic and anxiety or even create a craving to use drugs to mask these emotions

One of the scariest things about drug abuse is an overdose. If you’re suffering from an addiction, the thought that you can overdose has likely crossed your mind and sends you into a spiral. It may cause panic and anxiety or even create a craving to use drugs to mask these emotions. 

The following are some of the most asked questions around overdosing. 

Does overdose mean death?

Accidental Drug overdoses are a leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. In fact, recent studies have shown that people are more likely to die from one than a car accident. 

“The odds of dying accidentally from an opioid overdose have risen to one in 96, eclipsing the odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash (one in 103). NSC unveiled the analysis on Injury Facts – the definitive resource for data around unintentional, preventable injuries, commonly known as “accidents.” The nation’s opioid crisis is fueling the Council’s grim probabilities, and that crisis is worsening with an influx of illicit fentanyl” explains

To get a feel for how big of a risk overdosing is, consider that more deaths are caused by overdoses each year than breast cancer. Approximately 42,000 deaths are caused by breast cancer each year while accidental overdoses claim nearly 70,000 lives per year. 

overdose may cause panic and anxiety or even create a craving to use drugs to mask these emotions

Signs of an overdose include: 

  • Heroin: Slowed Breathing, Unconsciousness, Delirium 
  • Meth: High Fever, Wide Pupils, Convulsions 
  • Cocaine: Vomiting, Hallucinations, Seizure
  • Fentanyl: Slowed Breathing, Confusion, Blue Tint to Fingernails
  • Prescription Medications: Restricted Pupils, Unconsciousness, Stop Breathing 

An overdose may begin with a lack of breathing but this is just the start. Blue lips, seizures, unconsciousness, heart stopping, and eventually death will follow. The very moment one begins showing signs of overdosing it’s vital to get medical attention as soon as possible. Though, because of the nature of these symptoms, this may not be something one who is overdosing can do for themselves. 

Without immediate medical attention, an overdose will most likely result in death. 

There is a chance one can survive an overdose, but this does not mean things will be easy for them. 

Surviving an overdose does not mean there won’t be side effects. Some may heal with time while others can be very serious and permanent. 

Permanent damage commonly associated with overdosing

  • Brain Damage
  • Cardiac and Muscular Problems
  • Trauma
  • Hepatitis

Can you accidentally overdose?

If suicide is not the intention, a drug overdose will happen accidentally. While it may happen on account of indulgence and negligence, there are other factors to consider. 

A terrifying, and rising, threat is drugs being spiked with deadly doses of fentanyl. Drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and benzos are known targets of this threat.

This drug is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. The risk of overdosing due to fentanyl is extremely high even when just a small amount is present.

Fentanyl is to thank for recent spikes in the nation’s drug epidemic and is to be taken very seriously. 

In any case, if you are using drugs, you should stop and get help. But you must also understand that ill-willed individuals are targeting drug users. 

Can you overdose hours after?

Popular depictions of overdoses often show symptoms beginning immediately. While this can certainly happen, it’s not always the case. Immediate convulsions and unconsciousness are the worst-case scenarios, but this usually occurs when an abnormally large amount of drugs are taken. 

Most overdoses are accidental and occur when an individual passes their threshold or tolerance.

While there are immediate effects, an overdose can take a few hours to kick in truly. As time passes, symptoms will gradually worsen. 

If you begin to notice any of the symptoms associated with the drugs mentioned above, you need to seek medical attention and call 911 immediately. It’s better to wait for paramedics as they may be able to begin treatment on the way to the hospital.

Can I get into trouble for overdosing?

There may be a reluctance to seek medical attention due to a fear of legal repercussions. In 2015 the Immunity Law for Drug Overdose was passed. 

This law prevents those who overdose from being arrested for drug violations after overdosing. This law is also extended to those who help the person that is overdosing seek help.

Concluding thoughts

The rising threat of accidental overdoses should motivate you to get clean. 

Yes, there are individuals who will survive but many will not. The biggest lie you can tell yourself is that overdosing is something that happens to other people. 

Getting clean may not be easy, but there are programs and facilities eagerly waiting to help you through it. We must bring the drug epidemic to an end together.

DayBreak is NOT just another drug rehab center – it is a treatment solution founded on the core principles of change. Relapse no longer needs to be a part of your story, call us when you are ready for a life rediscovered…844-447-3239