Woman curls up in corner and wonders, "why do drug overdoses increase in winter?"

Why Do Drug Overdoses Increase in Winter?

Wondering why drug overdoses increase in winter? There is a strong link between winter and overdoses. Many people suffer from depression and other mental health conditions in winter, when the days are shorter and colder. This can lead to an increase in drug use as individuals may seek out substances to cope with their symptoms.

At Washburn House, we understand the correlation between substance use and the winter months. We also know how crucial it is to find treatment, especially when fentanyl and other opioids are causing countless fatal overdoses across the nation. To learn about our compassionate addiction treatment programs, contact us at 855.298.3104 today. Seeking out treatment can save a life.

Why Do Drug Overdoses Increase in Winter?

The winter season can bring about many changes, not just in the weather but also in individuals’ physical and mental health. One of the alarming trends noticed during this period is the increase in drug overdoses, particularly those related to opioids. The reasons for this trend are complex and multifaceted, involving a combination of the following factors:

  • Environmental – The winter season can bring about a decrease in the number of daylight hours and an increase in overall cold temperatures. This can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
  • Psychological – For individuals who already suffer from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, the winter season can exacerbate their symptoms. This can lead to an increased desire to self-medicate with drugs in order to cope.
  • Social – The long winters may cause people to have fewer opportunities for social activities, leading them to turn to substance use for entertainment and relief from boredom.
  • Physiological – The physiological effects of the winter season can lead to an increase in pain levels and a decrease in tolerance. This can result in individuals taking more drugs than they normally would in order to achieve the same level of relief.

At Washburn House, we understand the complex nature of substance use disorders and their connection to underlying mental health conditions such as depression.

Winter can lead to feelings of isolation and depression due to shorter days and decreased sunlight. This condition, known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), may lead some individuals to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, increasing the risk of an overdose.

Furthermore, cold weather can impact the body’s ability to metabolize substances. In freezing temperatures, the body prioritizes maintaining core body heat, potentially slowing down the metabolism of drugs and increasing the risk of toxicity.

Opioid Use and Winter

The relationship between opioid use and winter is particularly concerning. Opioids depress the respiratory system, and the cold weather can exacerbate this effect, increasing the risk of a fatal overdose. Additionally, individuals using opioids may be less likely to feel the effects of the cold, leaving them vulnerable to hypothermia.

Benefits of an Addiction Treatment Program

Seeking help from a comprehensive addiction treatment program like the one offered at Washburn House can provide numerous benefits:

  • Improved physical health
  • Enhanced mental well-being
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Skills to manage addiction triggers
  • Access to a supportive community
  • Tools for maintaining long-term sobriety

Washburn House offers a range of programs, including drug and alcohol detox, inpatient residential rehab, partial hospitalization program (PHP), and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Therapies include individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, trauma-informed care, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), and mindfulness modalities.

Call Washburn House Now

If you or a loved one are grappling with substance use, especially during the challenging winter months, contact Washburn House at 855.298.3104 now. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to provide the care and support needed to navigate these challenges and start the journey towards recovery.

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