Risks for Relapse, Overdose and What You Can Do
Overdose occurs when a toxic amount of a drug or combination of drugs is taken. Opioids (prescription painkillers and heroin) in particular pose a higher risk of overdose as they can depress the central nervous system causing breathing to slow, sometimes to the point of stopping altogether.
Addiction is complex and the journey to recovery often involves setbacks and relapse. Rates of relapse are between 40 and 60 percent, very similar to rates of relapse with other chronic diseases like hypertension, asthma or type I diabetes.1 Once your son or daughter has been drug-free for a period of time — whether the result of formal treatment or otherwise — should they relapse, they’re more susceptible to overdose for the simple reason that their tolerance isn’t what it once was. A dose they may have once used regularly can now be fatal.