Priority One: Saving Lives
Understanding the At-Risk Individuals for Opiate Overdose
Mixing heroin or prescription opioids with alcohol, benzodiazepines, or antidepressants significantly raises the chance of overdosing. Alcohol and benzodiazepines pose severe risks as they, like opioids, affect breathing capacity.
A changing tolerance level, requiring more of a drug for the same effect, can rapidly decrease after a break from substance use. Restarting opioids after such a hiatus heightens the risk of a lethal overdose.
Health Conditions Matter
Poor physical health affects the body's management of opioids. Individuals with asthma, liver/kidney issues, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, or breathing problems face an increased overdose risk due to opioids' impact on breathing.
Past Overdose History
Previous nonfatal overdoses significantly elevate the likelihood of a fatal overdose in the future.
Signs of an Opiate Overdose.
Call 911 immediately if a person exhibits ANY of the following symptoms:
Extremely pale face and/or skin feels clammy to the touch
Purple or blue fingernails or lips
Vomiting or making gurgling noises
Can’t be awakened or are unable to speak
Breathing or heartbeat slows or stops