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How to Identify and Respond to an Opioid Overdose


6 Physical Signs of an Opioid Overdose:

  1. Unresponsiveness
  2. Pinpoint-sized pupils
  3. Slow heartbeat and/or low blood pressure
  4. Slow or no breathing
  5. Blue/gray fingernails and lips
  6. Pale and/or clammy skin

How to Respond to an Opioid Overdose:

1. Call

Assess the person based on the six signs listed above and CALL 911 as soon as possible.

2. Touch

If the person is unresponsive, try to wake them up with verbal or physical stimulation (say their name or touch their arm.) If this does not work, stimulate the person by placing your knuckles on their sternum and apply pressure.

3. Talk

If the person wakes up, keep them focused with continued conversation.

4. Stay

If they remain unresponsive, do not take any further action. Follow any instructions given by the 911 operator. Stay with the person until first responders arrive.