Coping with a Drug Overdose

Coping with a Drug Overdose

Dealing with the aftermath of a drug overdose can be extremely difficult. It can be terrifying while the actual overdose is happening, and it can be completely overwhelming once the overdose is finished. Overdoses can result in illness, permanent health damage, and even death. Understanding how to cope with the consequences of an overdose can turn a devastating event into something more manageable.

The Immediate Plan for Dealing with an Overdose


While in the midst of a drug overdose, it is extremely important to remain as calm as possible. Whether it is yourself or a loved one dealing with the addiction, it is imperative you know as much as possible about the substance being abused. You also must have a plan of action do deal with the actual overdose.

Call for assistance as soon as possible. The sooner you have help coming your way, the sooner a treatment plan can begin. If needed, provide any type of first aid or CPR.

Arm yourself with knowledge about the scene. Notice any drug paraphernalia, pill bottles, or other elements that are collected in the room. This information may be vital to emergency personnel, particularly if you are not sure what type of substance was taken.Take caution when providing assistance with the situation. Some individuals may become angry and violent while they are overdosing. Others may have unusual amounts of strength.

Types of Drug Overdose Aftermath

  • Living after The FuneralOne of the most difficult types of drug overdose to deal with is one that includes the loss of a loved one’s life. You may feel anger or guilt over their loss. If you were involved in the immediate situation, you may feel guilt that you survived and they did not; or, you may struggle with anything you could have done differently to prevent it. There is no rhyme or reason to the emotions you may battle. The important thing is to acknowledge the feelings and seek help for them. Counseling, support groups, family members, and even church groups can all be wonderful places to find assistance when dealing with a traumatic loss.
  • Surviving Your Own OverdoseSurviving an overdose can be relieving and overwhelming all at the same time. It can be the moment you realize your life is completely out of your control; it can be a turning point or even more damaging. You will need a great deal of emotional and physical healing to return to your life after an overdose. Whether the overdose was a suicide attempt or accidental, spending time with a counselor who has a strong background in substance abuse can be the first step to reclaiming your life.
  • Helping a Loved One through their OverdoseHelping a loved one move towards recovery after an overdose can also seem like a very difficult task. You may be responsible for getting them to and from therapy and counseling sessions as well as administering any medications. In many cases, they may rely on your for almost everything as they return to their life. Family counseling may be beneficial, particularly if you both have unresolved tension that may lead the user back towards drugs or alcohol. In addition, you will need to find the time to take care of yourself; you will do yourself or your loved one no good if you are overwhelmed to the point of physical, mental, or even emotional exhaustion.

Support after an Overdose

Whether the cause of the overdose was intentional or accidental, moving on will be a challenge. A myriad of emotions will complement the physical struggles. Learning techniques for coping will be imperative as will learning how to reclaim life. Counseling, therapy, and possibly even rehab should be the initial steps you seek for support in these areas. Search for individuals or groups that specialize in the substance abuse areas. They will be able to understand what you have been through and what you are facing as you move forward. They will also have the greatest amount of information, tips, and techniques for preventing relapses and other overdoses in the future.

Anyone who participates in a lifestyle that involves illicit drugs is at a risk for an overdose. Even one attempt at using a drug can cause an accidental overdose; however, the more involved a person is in an addictive lifestyle, the greater their chances of an overdose. If you or someone you love struggles with an addiction, the best time to seek help is now, before a life-altering or even life-ending overdose can occur.

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