Drug Overdose Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on February 11, 2024
2 min read
  • Collapsed
  • Stopped breathing

If the person is not breathing or breathing is dangerously weak:

The FDA has approved a prescription treatment that can be used by family members or caregivers to treat a person known or suspected to have had an opioid overdose. Opioids include various prescription pain medications and illicit street drugs. An overdose is characterized by slowed breathing and heart rate and a loss of consciousness. Evzio (naloxone hydrochloride injection) rapidly delivers a single dose of the drug naloxone via a nasal spray or hand-held auto-injector that can be carried in a pocket or stored in a medicine cabinet. Although Evzio can counter overdose effects within minutes, professional medical help is still needed.

  • Call Poison Control at 800-222-1222 (in U.S.) even if the person has no symptoms.
  • Poison Control experts will advise you how to proceed.
  • Do not try to make the person vomit or give the person anything to eat or drink.
  • Give drug or pills the person may have taken to the emergency team, or take them to the emergency room or doctor's office.
  • At the hospital, the person's stomach may be pumped.
  • Activated charcoal may be given by mouth to absorb the drug.
  • A psychiatric evaluation will be ordered if the overdose was intentional.