Dos and don’ts in responding
to an opioid overdose
- Call 9-1-1
- Support breathing by performing rescue breathing.
- Administer naloxone, a drug that reverses the effect of opioids, as an injection or nasal spray.
- Place the person in recovery position on their side if breathing independently.
- Stay with person and keep him/her warm and until help arrives.
- Slap or try to forcefully stimulate the person — it will only cause further injury. If shouting, rubbing knuckles on the sternum, or light pinching will not awaken the person, he/she may be unconscious.
- Put the person into a cold bath or shower. This increases the risk of falling, drowning or going into shock.
- Inject the person with any substance (salt water, milk, speed, heroin, etc).
- Try to make the person vomit drugs that he/she may have swallowed. Choking or inhaling vomit into the lungs can cause death.
** Naloxone Kits: A drug that reverses the effect of opioids, as an injection or nasal spray. ALL friends/family should have naloxone and know how to use it.