How Heroin Kills – Causes of Opiate Overdose Deaths

Heroin and other opiates are still the deadliest of drugs. We developed our Delray detox methods to help opiate addicts overcome addiction before it claims their lives. If you or someone you love needs help for opiate addiction, here’s what you need to know about overdose and its consequences.

As anyone who follows the news knows, overdose deaths from heroin are on the rise lately, as is the use of heroin itself. But did you know that only one in 10 heroin overdoses is fatal? With prompt intervention by medical personnel, heroin overdose is completely reversible.

Opiate Overdose Causes Respiratory Depression

Most heroin users experience feelings of calm and euphoria when they take heroin or other opiate drugs. When someone who needs the help of our Delray detox methods takes too much heroin, however, they could fall asleep. When that happens, respiratory depression could occur – under the influence of heroin, your body simply fails to keep breathing.

Heroin Users Are Vulnerable to Heart Problems

But respiratory depression isn’t the only danger heroin users face. Those in need of our Delray detox methods are vulnerable to opiate-induced arrhythmia, which can impair the heart’s ability to pump adequate blood throughout the body. Inadequate blood flow has catastrophic effects for the other organs, including the brain.

Using heroin can also lead to pulmonary edema, a condition in which the heart fails to pump blood as efficiently as it should. The blood backs up into the veins, then into the lungs and the left side of the heart. As more and more blood builds up in the lungs and heart, the drug user struggles to breathe. Kidney failure or heart attack can result.

Research also shows that people in need of our Delray detox methods are 300 times more likely to perish as a result of infectious endocarditis, an infection that attacks the surface of the heart.

Heroin Can Be Contaminated

Though it’s rarer than other causes of overdose deaths, heroin can be contaminated with poisonous substances that cause death in the user. Even if heroin isn’t outright contaminated with toxins, it can be cut with more potent opiate drugs, like fentanyl, which was responsible for a recent rash of overdose deaths throughout the Northeast.

Who Is Most Vulnerable to Death from Overdose?

Though every person in need of help from our Delray detox methods is vulnerable to death from opiate overdose, some people are considered higher-risk than others. Most opiate overdose deaths occur in single men, especially when they use other drugs or alcohol (often, at the same time as they’re using heroin.) Drinking alcohol while using heroin is especially dangerous, since both substances can cause respiratory depression.

Of particular concern to the folks who take advantage of our Delray detox methods is the statistic concerning users who leave rehab. Users who have been through drug treatment and have been clean for a period of time are far more vulnerable to overdose should they attempt to use heroin or other opiates again. Why?

Opiate users, like regular users of any substance, build up a tolerance over time. When users get clean for a few weeks or months, they lose their tolerance. When they have a lapse or relapse and use opiates again, they’re more likely to take too much, since they no longer know what dose to give themselves. In fact, studies show that newer heroin users aren’t the ones most likely to die; it’s the older, more experienced users who are most vulnerable to death, while only 17 percent of newer users die.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that new users can’t succumb to overdose. In fact, just like users who have recently left treatment, new users may not know how much of the drug to administer to themselves. They may inadvertently take too much.

Naloxone Stops Overdose in Its Tracks – Delray Detox Methods

There’s good news – the prescription opiate agonist naloxone can be administered to stop the effects of opiate overdose. The drug can be administered via nasal spray or intramuscular injection. It’s safe enough for anyone to use. Its effects are instantaneous and life-saving.

If you or someone you love is using heroin or other opiates, don’t wait any longer. Get help now – before it’s too late.

Call 888-415-0708 to learn more about our Delray detox methods and what they can do for you or someone you care about.

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