Drug Intoxication

Drug intoxication is characterised by the physical and psychological changes experienced due to the consumption of narcotics affecting one’s judgment, coordination and overall functioning. This condition, which results from the use of drugs or alcohol, has a long history of leading individuals towards addiction, posing significant challenges to society. Recognising the signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech and impaired coordination, is fundamental for providing the necessary care. Treatment centers and rehab facilities play an essential role in helping individuals recover by offering therapy, education and support to address the root causes of substance abuse. The addiction recovery community has developed specific terminology, such as “high,” “buzzed,” “withdrawal,” and “cravings,” to describe the various aspects of drug intoxication, aiding in effective communication and treatment approaches. Understanding these terms is key to navigating the recovery process and seeking help.

Acute Intoxication

Acute intoxication happens when a person experiences severe and potentially life-threatening symptoms after consuming a toxic substance, either by its nature or the amount taken. This condition is usually intense and short-lived but can rapidly worsen making immediate and appropriate treatment in the emergency department (ED) crucial.

Drug abuse, including the use of cannabis, cocaine, opiates and synthetic drugs, is on the rise, particularly among the youth. This trend is leading to an increase in intoxication cases seen in the ED, often requiring hospitalization. A significant portion of students with 34.2% admitting to using illegal psychoactive substances at some point and 26% in the past year alone, points to the gravity of this issue.

The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly advises against the use of drugs and alcohol for those under 16, noting that starting to drink before 16 greatly increases the risk of addiction in adulthood and other serious outcomes like injuries, academic failure and violence.

Many patients treated in hospitals for substance use disorders are not previously known to local services and lack follow-up care. Identifying intoxicated patients correctly in the ED is fundamental for risk management and setting the right diagnostic and therapeutic course to avoid clinical errors. The review suggests that a temporary observation unit (TOU) in the ED could significantly improve the management of acute drug intoxication cases.

Poly Drug Intoxication

Combined Drug Intoxication (CDI) or polydrug abuse, poses significant health risks, particularly when substances are mixed, leading to unpredictable and often dangerous effects. Habitual use of a single substance already carries a risk for health emergencies but combining substances, including alcohol with prescription or illicit drugs, substantially increases this risk. This has been reflected in a rise in emergency room visits with many involving the concurrent use of alcohol and another drug. Certain drug combinations like stimulants or depressants together, can lead to severe outcomes such as heart attacks or respiratory failure. Further to that polydrug abuse can escalate the likelihood of developing an addiction to multiple substances, further deteriorating mental and physical health. Health professionals strongly advise against mixing any drugs, whether prescribed or not, without medical supervision. Symptoms of CDI can range from drowsiness and slurred speech to more severe effects like paranoia and loss of consciousness, marking the thin line between intoxication and overdose. The latter can result in irreversible damage or even death, highlighting the critical importance of avoiding polydrug use and seeking immediate medical attention for suspected overdoses.

Drug Intoxication, Acute Intoxication & Poly Intoxication

Drug intoxication can be defined as the physical, psychological changes that occur to an individual due to the use of a narcotic substance. Get help from qualified counsellors.

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    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

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