Would You Recognize an Overdose?

INFOGRAPHIC giving brief descriptions of overdose signs for specific substances

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Infographic provides overdose information about the following substances:

  • Opiates – Unresponsive or unconscious, depressed or nonexistent breathing, snoring/gurgling sounds, cold/clammy skin, cyanotic skin discoloration
  • Methamphetamines – Agitation, chest pain, arrythmia, cardiac arrest, stroke, kidney damage, abdominal pain, coma
  • Gabapentin – Drowsiness, muscle weakness, sedation, drooping eyelids (Rarely fatal alone)
  • Benzodiazepines – Excessive sedation, amnesia, respiratory depression, coma (Rarely fatal alone)
  • Isotonitazene – Similar to other opiates, but 10x more potent than fentanyl-requires significantly more Narcan doses. Monitor for wooden chest syndrome, primarily occurs through IV use
  • Alcohol – Confusion, seizures, vomiting, depressed breathing, cyanosis, hypothermia, unconsciousness
  • Secobarbital – Weakness, slurred speech, rapid involuntary eye movement, hypotension, nausea, coma
  • Xylazine – Respiratory depression, hypotension, bradycardia, CNS depression. Often not detected unless Narcan unable to fully reverse overdose symptoms

Many of these substances are sold in a combination form. Most are significantly more dangerous when combined. Alcohol greatly increases the risk of all other substances.

If you encounter someone in overdose:

  • Step 1: Administer Narcan. Even if another substance is suspected, it is highly likely that fentanyl or another opiate is also present.
  • Step 2: Activate EMS for every overdose, even if it is reversed with Narcan. Narcan effects are temporary, and the overdose state can return in 30-90 minutes.

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