Drug overdose is officially the number one cause of accidental deaths in the United States.
Using drugs — even to the point of overdose — is, tragically, nothing new, but we now have record-breaking statistics concerning specific drugs that are most likely to lead to an overdose.
These highly potent drugs are some of the most easily accessible and attainable substances on the street, and since they can so easily be overdosed on, we’re here to spread awareness about the dangers of using.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the top four most common drugs that are abused to the point of overdose.
What is an overdose?
A drug overdose is what happens when you take too much of a substance.
In the case of prescription medication, an overdose happens when you ingest more than the standard or recommended amount by your medical provider.
The challenge with illegal substances is, because they are not medically regulated, there is no “standard dosage” that’s recommended to take — because every amount is dangerous.
Drugs most responsible for overdose
The drugs that most consistently lead to overdosing, whether it’s done intentionally or not and regardless if whether it ends in a fatality, are opioids, heroin, cocaine and meth.
Opioids are a class of pain-relieving substances that have become increasingly popular as recreational drugs in recent years. Opioids are most commonly prescribed for those in moderate-to-severe pain (for instance, someone recovering from a surgery), and it’s common for people to “up” their own dosages to further relieve pain, which can lead to overdose.
Heroin is an illicit opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance that is extracted from poppy plants, but don’t let its natural roots fool you. Heroin is commonly mixed with additives that can range from “normal” (such as sugar or cornstarch) to toxic (such as additional synthetic drugs to increase the high). Due to the inconsistency of ingredients and a person’s inability to know how strong the substance is until ingestion, overdose is very common.
Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that, while legally used by healthcare providers for certain medical instances, is most commonly used recreationally. Synthetic drugs are often integrated into the “mix” to create a more euphoric and long-lasting high, but with this heightened experience comes a greater increase for addiction and overdose.
Methamphetamine — more commonly referred to as meth — is also a highly addictive stimulant drug that directly effects your nervous system. There is no legal use for this drug due to the incredibly strong potency and dangers associated with this substance.
Drug overdose statistics
Nearly one million people (and that’s only an estimate, considering how many overdoses and deaths have never been reported) have died from a drug overdose since 2000.
On average, that’s around 50,000 people every year, making the monthly estimated statistic for overdose deaths to be around 4,000.
Tragically, many of these deaths are accidental, which only further proves the importance of awareness, taking pro-active steps individually, on the community level, and nationally, as well as reaching out for professional help when you need it.
Seek professional help
If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder don’t hesitate to seek professional medical help as soon as possible.
We know this time can be scary and overwhelming, but this isn’t something you’re going through alone. If you don’t know what step to take next, take a deep breath and send us a message.
Real Recovery offers both traditional treatment and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) plans to help you overcome a substance use disorder, each of which is fully customizable to your specific needs.
In addition, we are proud to offer an extensive continuum of care that begins the moment you enroll in one of our programs or treatment plants, throughout rehab, into outpatient services and finally, with you as you transition to full independent sobriety.
To learn more about the different substance abuse recovery programs we offer, call us today at 855-363-7325.