Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Addiction. 2001 Aug;96(8):1113-25.

Heroin overdose: causes and consequences.

Author information

1
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Abstract

Over the past decade fatal opioid overdose has emerged as a major public health issue internationally. This paper examines the risk factors for overdose from a biomedical perspective. While significant risk factors for opioid overdose fatality are well recognized, the mechanism of fatal overdose remains unclear. Losses of tolerance and concomitant use of alcohol and other CNS depressants clearly play a major role in fatality; however, such risk factors do not account for the strong age and gender patterns observed consistently among victims of overdose. There is evidence that systemic disease may be more prevalent in users at greatest risk of overdose. We hypothesize that pulmonary and hepatic dysfunction resulting from such disease may increase susceptibility to both fatal and non-fatal overdose. Sequelae of non-fatal overdose are recognized in the clinical literature but few epidemiological data exist describing the burden of morbidity arising from such sequelae. The potential for overdose to cause persisting morbidity is reviewed.

PMID:
11487418
DOI:
10.1080/09652140120060716
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center