What is Happening when Someone is Overdosing?
Opioids can cause the heart and lungs to stop, here’s how:
- Opioids slow breathing, which leads to a lack of oxygen
- Too little oxygen makes people unconscious and unresponsive to pain
- Eventually breathing, then the heart, stops
DO NOT WASTE TIME IN RESPONDING TO AN OVERDOSE!
The overdose process can occur from seconds, to minutes, to hours depending on the type of opioid ingested.
Remember in an opioid overdose, the person experiences breathing issues first due to lack of oxygen. Therefore, it is important to reverse the overdose with naloxone and get oxygen into the person to prevent any further brain injury.
The key to their survival is calling 911, giving naloxone, and giving rescue breaths/CPR.