Drug poisoning can occur when someone ingests medication that does not belong to them or they ingest too much medication causing an overdose. Someone may also ingest different types of medication, including over the counter drugs and prescriptions. Drug poisoning can also occur when someone takes illegal drugs in large quantities. The effects vary depending on the type of drugs but can include:
- Lethargy or drowsiness
- Extreme hyperactivity and frenzy
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sweating and tremors
- Slow, shallow breathing
- Abnormally slow or fast pulse
The effects vary from person to person but if drug poisoning is suspected, call 999 straight away, even if you are unsure. Help the person into a comfortable position and, if they are conscious, ask what they have taken. This will help the emergency services to treat the patient. Try to reassure them and calm them down if they appear excessively restless and panicked. Monitor breathing, particularly if they are unconscious, and check their pulse regularly. If the person is unconscious, look for signs of what they may have taken such as empty pill bottles. Be prepared to give CPR if breathing slows or stops and place the patient into the recovery position if breathing returns to normal.
Accidental drug poisoning
Treating drug poisoning varies depending on the drugs taken therefore it is always advised to phone an ambulance immediately to get professional help. Swallowing or mixing medicines can cause severe adverse effects, such as seizures, hallucinations, heart palpitations and other physical consequences. Taking illegal drugs is only the fault of the person who took them (unless the person was given them unwittingly), but accidentally taking too medication that is not meant for you could be the fault of someone else. For example, if your doctor prescribes you with a medication and you receive another type, you could take too many of them or you may have an adverse reaction.
If your doctor prescribes medication that you have already taken and had an adverse reaction to, you could suffer severe side-effects. In these cases, you could be eligible for medical negligence compensation. If you need any help or advice regarding a potential case of medical negligence, you can contact Accident Advice Helpline. Our team are experts and help victims of negligence to win compensation every day therefore you will be in safe hands.