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Overdose: The Real Risk Of Mixing Opioids With Other Drugs

Drug overdose is the leading cause of death for Americans age 50 and under. Opioid overdoses are now up there with stress, heart disease, and other well known causes of death. The number of opioid overdose deaths have increased so dramatically that the entire world is taking notice. America makes up a small portion of the world’s population but is the leading consumer of the world’s opioid drugs. Reports of overdoses have produced startling numbers, in the fifty and sixty thousands since 2015. Opioids are not the only substance causing overdose deaths. Many overdose deaths are a combination of mixing multiple drug substances, often including sleeping pills and alcohol.

Beloved actor Heath Ledger’s death should have stood out as a strong warning against mixing medications. Within recent years, after the actor’s accidental overdose, it has been revealed that Ledger’s sister expressed concern over his regularly combining medications, to which he responded that he would be fine. He was found deceased the next day.

According to Slate, the FDA conducted a study in 2011, one of the climaxing years of the opioid epidemic. The study estimated that “…31 percent of opioid overdose deaths also involved benzodiazepine (either a sleeping pill or a tranquilizer). However, the article notes, “…about 25 percent of overdose death certificates” for that 31 percent of opioid overdoses “did not list all of the drugs involved.”

Sleeping medications and other benzodiazepines have not received the same attention or the same warning that opioid medications have. Thirty-one percent is not a small number when it comes to the tens of thousands of opioid overdose deaths occurring every year in increasing number.

Young adults, and even older adults, who fall into the cycle of addiction have their decision making abilities impaired. Which is why they may not think twice, or critically, about mixing medications. When addiction takes over the brain, it prioritizes the production of pleasure and pleasurable feelings. Mixing drugs like benzodiazepines and opioids creates a considerable amount sedating, numbing, euphoric, and anesthetic feelings. The effect, as evidenced by the overdoses, is equally dangerous.

If you believe you or a loved one are abusing a combination of opioids and benzodiazepines, times is of the essence to recognize your addiction and ask for help. A better life is possible. Treatment is available. Tree House Recovery offers men a comprehensive program for developing a new way of living by restoring physical and mental health. Call us today for information on our programs in Orange County, California: (855) 202-2138

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