What to Do if Your Loved One Overdoses

overdose on drugsIf you believe that your loved one has overdosed on cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, prescription drugs or another drug or alcohol, do not attempt to treat the issue at home. Call 911 immediately.

Drug overdose is a serious issue and can result in seizures, heart attack, stroke, coma, and death if not treated early and properly. Depending upon the type of drug abused by your loved one, the treatment will vary. You can help by calling authorities immediately, attempting no at-home remedies, and giving medical professionals all the information they need to best care for your loved one.

If you would like to help your loved one avoid drug overdose in the future, consider enrolling them in drug and alcohol addiction treatment at Michael’s House. We can provide them with the treatment they need to learn to live without their drug of choice.

Types of Drug Overdose Treatment that Your Loved One May Experience

There are a number of different ways that medical professionals may choose to approach treatment for your loved one’s drug overdose. These include:

  • Gastric lavage. Otherwise known as “stomach pumping,” this procedure flushes any unabsorbed drugs out of the system before they have a chance to make matters worse.
  • Charcoal. Activated charcoal is often given to overdose victims in order reduce the amount of drugs absorbed into the blood by blocking them in the stomach and intestines. The drugs are released from the body through the stool, a process often activated by a cathartic that is given to the patient at the same time as the charcoal.
  • Naltrexone and other drugs. If your loved one overdosed on an opiate medication like Percodan or Lorcet or is experiencing a heroin overdose, emergency personnel may administer a drug called naltrexone. This drug works by binding to the receptors that normally bind with opiate medications, blocking the effects of the drugs in the system. This drug works immediately but does not remove the drugs from the body. In time, the effects of naltrexone will wear off before the drugs have a chance to “wear off” naturally, so medical care is required for a period after administration.

What to Expect When Emergency Professionals Arrive to Treat a Drug Overdose

After you call 911, the operator may ask for some information from you. The operator will give this information to the emergency personnel so they can better prepare to treat your loved one before they arrive. You will likely be asked the age, weight, height, and gender of your loved one and what drug he or she overdosed on. It is helpful if you have the prescription drug bottle or any leftover drugs that they didn’t use to give to the medical professionals.

The operator may or may not instruct you on how to care for your loved one while you await the arrival of emergency professionals. Follow these instructions closely and remain on the line until help arrives.

When help arrives, it may be necessary to restrain your loved one if he or she is agitated or violent. It’s not easy to watch but remember, they are only doing as much as they have to do to protect themselves and your loved one in order to administer treatment. Call 760-548-4032 now for more information.