What You Need To Know About Drug Overdose Symptoms

Authored by Granite Recovery Centers    Reviewed by James Gamache    Last Updated: August 27th, 2021

James Gamache Medical Reviewer
Jim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Licensed Masters Level Addictions Counselor (MLADC). He has been working in the field of mental health/addiction treatment since 1995. Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Springfield College in 2000, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University in 2002. In 2002 Jim was hired by the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester holding the position of Clinical Case Manager. From 2004-2019, Jim was employed at WestBridge Inc. During his time at WestBridge, Jim held the following positions; Clinician, Team Leader, Director, & Chief Operations Officer. In 2019 Jim transitioned employment to GateHouse Treatment Center as the Clinical Director for 10 months. In October of 2020 Jim transitioned to Granite Recovery Centers and is currently serving as the Senior VP of Clinical Services and Quality Assurance.

There is a great deal of media coverage regarding overdose deaths. For those who aren’t as knowledgeable about drugs and their effects, it can be difficult to know what drug overdose symptoms to look for. This is important information to become aware of because it could be a matter of life and death for your loved one.

Definition Of An Overdose

In the simplest terms, an overdose occurs when a person’s body can’t detoxify drugs quickly enough to avoid unintended side effects. There are many variables that affect the experiences of those who take illicit drugs or who misuse prescription medications. For example, some people might be more sensitive to certain substances. In other cases, one person could have a slower metabolism rate than another.

Drug Overdose Symptoms

The list of drug overdose symptoms is as varied as the people who overdose on them. Some of the most common signs to be aware of include:

1. Confusion And Sleepiness

Confusion and sleepiness are common overdose symptoms. Lapsing into a coma can also occur. This can be especially dangerous because of the possibility of the person inhaling vomit into their lungs. Being injured during a fall because of sleepiness and/or confusion is also a danger.

2. Vital Sign Concerns

Another common drug overdose symptom is in vital signs changes. The person’s blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, and/or respiratory rate is likely to be outside the range of normal during a drug overdose. Whether these changes mean vital signs decrease, increase, or are absent, drug overdose symptoms can be life-threatening.

3. Chest Pain

Chest pain and breathing difficulties are other drug overdose symptoms to be on the lookout for. These can occur because of damage to the heart, lungs, or both. The person might experience shortness of breath, breathing that is shallow, slow, deep, or rapid.

4. Abdominal Issues

Issues with the abdomen are often associated with drug overdose symptoms. If a person has vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and/or pain after they’ve ingested a substance, it can be a sign of an overdose. Bowel movements or vomit that contain blood can be a life-threatening sign.

Drug Overdose Treatment In New Hampshire

There is no one way that a person responds to a drug overdose. This is why it’s so important to know the signs of a drug overdose so you can act quickly. In order for it to be most effective, drug overdose treatment is tailored to the needs of the individual. These could include the person’s age, the substance that is involved and other factors.

Granite Recovery Centers provides high-quality, research-based, and patient-centric drug overdose treatment in New Hampshire. Their available services span a breadth of possibilities and include the following:

  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment
  • Medical And Holistic Detox (Note: Granite Recovery Centers provides medical detoxification for people who do not need immediate medical intervention, are not a danger to themselves, and are capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency.)
  • Trauma Therapy
  • 12-Step Program
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Individual And Group Counseling

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one might be experiencing signs of a drug overdose, call 911 immediately. Contact Granite Recovery Centers at 855.712.7784 for the treatment of substance use disorder today.

At Granite Recovery Centers, we want to provide accurate information about health and addiction so that our readers can make informed decisions.

We have credentialed medical doctors & clinicians who specialize in addiction treatment review the information on our website before it is published. We use credible sources such as government websites and journal articles when citing statistics or other medically related topics.