How to Respond to an Opioid Overdose

Overdose Prevention Home

It is at times difficult to tell whether a person is high or experiencing an overdose. If you aren't positive, it is best to treat it like an overdose. 

  1. Call 9-1-1 immediately,
    all you have to say is "Someone is unresponsive and not breathing" and provide a clear address and/or description of your location 
  2. Administer Naloxone,
    if available 
  3. Try to keep the person awake and breathing,
    perform rescue breathing if needed 
  4. Put the person on their side,
    in a recovery position 
  5. Stay with them
    until the emergency workers arrive 

There are also some things that you want to make sure not to do for risk of putting the individual at more harm such as: 

  • Don't hit or try to forcefully wake or move the person - it will only potentially cause further harm. 
  • Don't put the person in a cold bath or shower. This increases the risk of falling, drowning or going into shock. 

Don't try to make the person vomit. This increases the risk of choking or inhaling vomit into their lungs, which can cause a fatal injury.