Long-Term Effects of Drug Overdose on the Brain

Drug and alcohol overdose is serious and can have lasting effects on your brain. These can include memory loss, difficulty walking, unable to swallow or talk, and many other severe health issues. 

In this article, you’ll learn how drug overdose affects the brain, and how to prevent overdose in the first place. 

What is Drug Overdose?

Anyone who uses drugs and alcohol is potentially at risk of overdosing. During a drug overdose, toxic brain injury occurs. This is when cerebral blood flow no longer reaches the human brain tissue, which can result in various life-threatening symptoms. Once the blood isn’t reaching the brain, a person will either stop breathing completely (known as anoxic brain injury) or the breathing will slow significantly (known as hypoxic brain injury). 

When an anoxic brain injury occurs, the person can die. When a hypoxic brain injury occurs, brain cells can be damaged, resulting in long-term brain damage. 

Symptoms of an overdose from drug abuse can include:

  • Slowed breathing/trouble breathing (respiratory depression)

  • Deep or fast breathing

  • Slowed heartbeat

  • Unconsciousness

  • Pale skin

The above symptoms require medical attention from a doctor immediately.

How Drug Overdose Can Affect Your Brain

Drug overdoses can have long-term effects on your brain and cause traumatic brain injury. These lasting effects can include:

  • Cognitive impairments and reduced cognitive functioning, including memory loss

  • Speech difficulties

  • Unable to focus

  • Changes in mood and personality

  • Poor mental health

  • Muscle spasms

  • Trouble walking or with overall coordination

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Vision issues

Whether it’s an opioid overdose, alcohol overdose, or overdose from any other type of drug, the above damage to your brain and body can occur. 

Which Drugs Can Cause Brain Damage From an Overdose?

Brain damage and overdose can occur when you use any of the below drugs (in addition to many others):

  • Alcohol abuse

  • Ambien

  • Benzos

  • Crack

  • Cocaine

  • Fentanyl

  • Meth

  • Opioids

  • OxyContin

If you’re struggling with abusing any of the above drugs or have overdosed in the past, addiction treatment can help.

How To Prevent Drug Overdose 

As mentioned, anyone who uses drugs or alcohol is at an increased risk of overdosing. Therefore the best way to prevent drug overdose is to not use drugs in the first place. However, someone people with a drug or alcohol addiction need help from experts to overcome their drug use. This is where a drug rehab facility can help. 

Withdrawal is the first step in addiction treatment and can help to prevent a drug overdose since it gives your body the opportunity to remove the drugs and toxins from your system. Detox is a managed process by medical professionals to help keep individuals safe and healthy while they withdraw. At Malibu Detox, our detox center provides clients with 24-hour supervision and targeted treatment by medical and addiction specialists. Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible. Medication can be provided when needed to reduce the effect of withdrawal symptoms. 

Before getting started in treatment, our team will thoroughly discuss the detoxification process with you and answer any questions you might have. We’ll also conduct a medical assessment and review your medical history in order for us to create your personalized detox plan. 

After detox, our residential treatment program can give you the tools you need to stay drug-free for the long term, through compassionate care that reduces the obstacles to your recovery. 

How To Prevent Drug Overdose

Start Substance Abuse Treatment Today at Malibu Detox

At Malibu Detox, our substance abuse treatments serve as a catalyst to help you overcome your addiction and reach the long-term sobriety you need. We accept most major and private insurance plans and work with you to minimize out-of-pocket expenses. 

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