1 PREVENTING AN OPIOID OVERDOSE Know the Signs. Save a Life. Opioid Overdose Basics Prescription opioids (like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine) and illicit opioids (like heroin and illegally made fentanyl) are powerful drugs that have a risk of a potentially fatal overdose. Anyone who uses opioids can experience an overdose, but certain factors may increase risk including but not limited to: Combining opioids with alcohol or certain other drugs · Taking high daily dosages of prescription opioids · · Taking more opioids than prescribed · Taking illicit or illegal opioids, like heroin or illicitly-manufactured fentanyl, that could could possibly contain unknown or harmful substances · Certain medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, or reduced kidney or liver function Age greater than 65 years old · Death from an opioid overdose happens when too much of the drug overwhelms the brain and interrupts the body’s natural drive to breathe. Learn more about opioids to protect yourself and your loved ones from opioid abuse, addiction, and overdose: www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose
2 PREVENTING AN OPIOID OVERDOSE Signs and Symptoms of an Opioid Overdose During an overdose, breathing can be dangerously slowed or stopped, causing brain damage or death. It’s important to recognize the signs and act fast. Signs include: Small, constricted “pinpoint pupils” · · Falling asleep or loss of consciousness · Slow, shallow breathing · Choking or gurgling sounds Limp body · Pale, blue, or cold skin · What To Do If You Think Someone Is Overdosing It may be hard to tell if a person is high or Ask your doctor experiencing an overdose. If you aren’t sure, about naloxone – a safe it’s best to treat it like an overdose— you medication that can quickly could save a life. stop an opioid overdose. It can be injected into the muscle or Call 911 immediately. 1 sprayed into the nose to rapidly Administer naloxone, if available. 2 block the effects of the 3 Try to keep the person awake and breathing. opioid on the body. 4 Lay the person on their side to prevent choking. 5 Stay with him or her until emergency workers arrive.
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