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Florida Alcohol Detox Reduces High Polydrug Overdose Deaths
A recent study by Florida’s medical examiners found that the vast majority of people who die of what’s called an “overdose” actually die from ingesting two or more substances—called “polydrug” abuse.
The term polydrug means ingesting two or more psychoactive substances to get a particular effect. Unfortunately, the effect too often is a trip to an emergency ward, or a one-way trip to the morgue and an early grave.
Here in Florida, alcohol abuse is frequently part of the polydrug mix.
And statistics show that if the alcohol itself doesn’t kill you in a traffic accident, a drunken fall, or a senseless brawl, it could lead you to make the potentially fatal decision to swallow drugs along with the booze.
In Florida, alcohol abuse contributes to many fatalities
Florida’s medical examiners found that polydrug abuse is by far the number one substance abuse killer of Floridians of all ages.
Combining substances mixes the effects and side effects of each substance with unpredictable and often deadly results, leading to the medical examiners’ catch-all label, “overdose”.
But even combining legal, non-controlled substances such as alcohol, nicotine and various prescription drugs with controlled psychoactive substances like opiates, cocaine or amphetamines can lead to big trouble.
The level of risk depends on several essential questions. And to predict the results of any polydrug abuse, you would have to know the answers to these questions:
- What is the dosage level of each substance?
- What is the individual’s sensitivity to, or tolerance for, each substance, and at what dose?
- What is the “synergistic” effect (the additive chemical combinations) of the substances?
- What is the individual’s sensitivity to, or tolerance for, those substances in any given combination?
As you can see, it’s a complex subject. No one can answer these questions without numerous carefully performed laboratory studies.
You can count on the fact that no one has the answers to these questions in relation to themselves in every given situation. Every experiment with alcohol abuse and drugs is therefore a deadly crapshoot.
- Alcohol and cocaine together immediately increases cardiovascular toxicity.
- Alcohol and opioids/opiates such as heroin, morphine or painkillers like OxyContin, rapidly lead to central nervous system depression.
- Alcohol combined with benzodiazepines can lead to dangerously aggressive behavior and outbursts of violence.
- Opioids or cocaine combined with amphetamines or Ecstasy increases acute toxicity.
- Out in the real world, the purity of illicit drugs (non-pharmaceuticals) is never truly known.
- The possible number of substance combinations is limited only by one’s imagination, and the number of drugs, especially pharmaceuticals, is almost limitless.
Many Florida detox programs deal with polydrug situations
America’s love affair with alcohol, its favorite deadly drug, is at the root of most fatal drug combinations, for all those reasons stated earlier in this article. Here in Florida, alcohol detox programs routinely have to deal with what have become multiple substance abuse problems, which could be more dangerous than alcohol abuse by itself.
Such polydrug problems are common throughout the U.S.
For example, last week in New York City we read about an alcohol problem leading to the fatal polydrug death of Andrew Koppel, 40-year-old son of former ABC news anchor Ted Koppel.
The New York medical examiner’s office said toxicity screens showed the younger Koppel succumbed to a deadly combination of alcohol and several drugs. Koppel had been bar-hopping for 12 hours prior to his death, while also taking cocaine, heroin and one or more benzodiazepines.
Koppel’s death was ruled an “accidental overdose”. Would you call it an accident if someone got really drunk, and then deliberately raced a car with no brakes at 100 miles an hour down a curving mountain road, at night, in a rainstorm—and then crashed?
Koppel had battled alcoholism and drug abuse for years. He had to have known better. Maybe he didn’t knowingly commit suicide. But combining those drugs with alcohol was a clear invitation for the Grim Reaper to come calling. This was tragic, but an accident?
Florida alcohol detox treatment is the only sensible solution
The Florida Medical Examiner study found that many more people suddenly die from lethal substance combinations than from any individual substance. But other studies have found that recreational users are similarly affected, in some regions as often as those suffering from addiction, and in others, even more so.
A major problem is that alcohol abuse frequently precedes polydrug abuse. Most people begin their substance abuse with alcohol rather than hard drugs. Alcohol compromises logical decision making. And a rational person tends to avoid deadly experimentation, including messing around with known deadly drugs.
For recreational Florida alcohol abusers who foolishly indulge in polydrug partying, a targeted educational campaign could help prevent injuries and deaths across the state.
But because alcoholism and weekend binge drinking are both primary gateways to deadly polydrug abuse, anyone with a habitual alcohol abuse problem should get into a Florida alcohol detox program as soon as possible.
Even for those who have not begun adding drugs into their alcohol-fueled lifestyle, the sensible solution is a Florida alcohol detox center offering safe and effective alcohol treatment.
In Florida, alcohol detox is offered by Novus Medical Detox Center in Pasco County that provides 24-hour-a-day medical care, essential nutritional supplementation, and attention to every personal detail to help make your stay as successful and rewarding as you could hope for.
The experienced and friendly Novus medical alcohol detox team is one of the main reasons so many Floridians begin their recovery at Novus Medical Detox Center.
NOTE: This information is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute (i) medical advice or counseling, (ii) the practice of medicine, health care diagnosis or treatment, or (iii) the creation of a physician patient or clinical relationship. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or that this information may be useful to you or others, please consult with your health care provider before applying any information from our articles to your personal situation or to the personal situation of others.
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