Drug Abuse and Dependence - When to Call a Doctor
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you or someone else:
- Has used or currently uses drugs and is having
a hard time waking up or can't stay awake.
- Has abused a child or
partner when using drugs.
overdosed or has
withdrawal signs. Be sure to tell the emergency
workers that you are or someone else is using or trying to quit using drugs.
Overdose or withdrawal signs may include:
- Vomiting that doesn't stop, or vomiting blood.
fever higher than 102°F (38.9°C).
- Breathing more than 25 breaths a minute, or
shortness of breath, such as gasping for air.
- A heart rate over 120
beats a minute even when you are trying to calm down.
- Sudden chest
pain or severe stomach pain.
- Shaking and chills.
- Passing out.
- Seeing or hearing things that
aren't there (hallucinations).
- Violent behavior, such as
picking fights, harming yourself, or destroying property.
very confused, such as not knowing where you are.
Call your doctor if:
- Drug use is harming your
- You drive or operate machinery when using
- You have missed work or school because of drug
- Your family or friends have asked you to stop using drugs, or
you feel you should.
- You use drugs or have used drugs and think you
- You say or do things while using drugs that you feel
- You have tried to stop using drugs but could not.
Who can treat a drug problem?
who can diagnose, prescribe medicine for, and treat
drug abuse problems include:
Counseling usually is part of treatment. This can be done
Watchful waiting is a
wait-and-see approach. If you get better on your own, you won't need treatment.
If you get worse, you and your doctor will decide what to do next.
Watchful waiting is not a good choice for drug abuse and dependence. If
you have a drug problem, or if you believe that your health or other areas of
your life are being affected by drugs, you need to take steps to stop using
Watchful waiting also is not a good choice if you or other
people are being hurt by another person's drug use. It is important to seek
help for yourself and other people, even if the person who is using drugs does
not seek treatment. Early treatment for all people affected by drug use makes
recovery more likely.
If you have
concerns about your drug use or the drug use of some you care about, talk to