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September 11, 2017
We don’t often hear about how to deal with overdose in relation to methamphetamine.
How does a methamphetamine overdose affect the body? And what can be done if you find someone overdosing?
An overdose happens when a toxic amount of a drug or a combination of drugs causes a severe adverse reaction. This can happen because too much is taken or because different drugs are taken at the same time. Combining drugs increases the chances of overdose.1
When methamphetamine is combined with other substances the psychological and physiological effects may be greater, increasing the risk of toxicity and serious adverse reactions.2 The use of alcohol with methamphetamine can increase the heart rate and blood pressure beyond what is caused by methamphetamine alone increasing the risk of cardiac events such as heart attack.3
Among other effects, overdosing on methamphetamine can cause difficulty breathing, chest pain, fits, extreme agitation and unconsciousness.
It can also lead to stroke4, heart attack5 and death6.
Increases in body temperature are associated with overdose, in some cases leading to hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is an uncontrolled increase of body temperature exceeding the body’s ability to get rid of heat – and can be fatal7.
If someone looks like they are in trouble and can’t be woken after drinking alcohol or using drugs, it’s very important that they get medical help quickly. A quick response can save their life.
It’s important to note that ambulance officers are not required to involve the police.