Recognizing Overdose & What to Do
The following are signs of an overdose:
- Loss of consciousness
- Unresponsive to outside stimulus
- Awake, but unable to talk
- Breathing is very slow and shallow, erratic, or has stopped
- For lighter skinned people, the skin tone turns bluish purple, for darker skinned people, it turns grayish or ashen.
- Choking sounds or a snore-like gurgling noise (sometimes called the “death rattle”)
- Body is very limp
- Face is very pale or clammy
- Fingernails and lips turn blue or purplish black
- Pulse (heartbeat) is slow, erratic, or not there at all
What to do
- Is the person breathing?
- Does the person respond to you when you shout their name?
- Rub knuckles against the place in the middle of the person’s chest where the ribs meet (breastbone or sternum) or their upper lip
- If person is not responding to you at all – call 911 and call for help
- If you need to give naloxone