We Asked an ER Doctor All the Ways You Could Die of a Drug Overdose

From VICE:

The first thing Sam Gutman explained when I asked him about drug overdoses is that the term “overdose” itself is misleading.

“Overdose implies that there’s a therapeutic dose that’s effective and you’ve taken more than that, so when you apply it to something like a street drug, there is no sort of effective dose,” said Gutman, a BC-based emergency doctor and founder of Rockdoc Consulting which provides harm reduction services at music festivals.

“They’re all bad and they’re all potentially life-threatening and dangerous.”

It’s even more complicated because street drugs are rarely pure, he said, and everybody responds to chemicals differently. Plus, people who overdose often have a mix of substances in their body.

That said, families of drugs cause specific symptoms during an overdose. We asked Gutman to explain those symptoms and how they might result in death:

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