• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Death from Unnatural Causes: Drug Overdose

  • By: Nina G. Shah
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Illicit drug and prescription drug use is the primary cause of unintentional overdose death. This entry describes symptoms of drug overdose, epidemiology, risk factors, societal cost, and prevention strategies for drug overdose death. Recommendations on how family can help prevent overdose death are outlined as related to these areas.

Symptoms of Overdose

Swift recognition of overdose by family members of a victim is crucial in order to immediately contact medical personnel, especially because most overdoses occur in the home. Overdose can happen to anyone who uses drugs and occurs when an amount of a drug or combination of drugs overwhelms the body—brain, heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys. Symptoms that may indicate overdose from depressant drugs like opioids (such as heroin, synthetic opioid analgesics) and sedatives (such as ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles