How to save a life during an overdose
If someone you love is experiencing an overdose, here's what you can do to help.
Try to wake them up
Shake them and shout their name in a loud voice. If there is no response, form a fist and grind your knuckles into their breastbone for 5 to 10 seconds. If they don't respond, give them a dose of naloxone.
1. Peel the package open and hold the device carefully. Do not test the plunger.
2. Tilt their head back, and insert the tip of the nasal spray into one nostril.
3. Firmly press the plunger to release the full dose.
Note: The nasal spray will work even if the person is not breathing.
Tell the 911 operator you believe someone is overdosing. The operator will send emergency services to your location. Do not hang up until help arrives.
*Note: Most states have laws in place that protect a person who is overdosing or the person who called for help from legal trouble.
Check their breathing
Give CPR if the person isn't breathing. If you haven’t been trained in CPR, you can still give rescue breaths:
1. Tilt their head back, open their mouth, and pinch their nose.
2. Exhale 2 breaths into their mouth.
3. Then, give 1 breath every five seconds. Continue this until help arrives.
If they start breathing, turn them on their side
To place them in the recovery position, put one hand under their head, and bend one knee to keep them from rolling onto their stomach. This will keep them from choking.
If they don't wake up in 2 to 3 minutes, give a second dose
Wait 2 to 3 minutes after the first dose of naloxone. If they haven't woken up, give them a second dose. Stronger drugs like fentanyl sometimes require 2 or more doses to be effective.
Beyond Addiction: The Real Opioid Crisis
Opioids have played a role in the crisis, but the problem runs much deeper than the drugs themselves.
How to spot an overdose
Drug overdoses can happen anywhere, at any time. Know the signs so you can help in an emergency.
Learn more about fentanyl, overdose, and infection
Get the facts on fentanyl and overdose to protect your loved ones.