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Opioid Overdose

Opioid Basics:

  • Prescription opioids are prescribed by practitioners to treat moderate to severe pain, but can also have serious risks and side effects.
    • Common types are oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco), morphine, and methadone.
  • Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever. It is many times more powerful than other opioids and is approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain.
  • Fentanyl can also be made and distributed illicitly (commonly referred to as illicitly manufactured fentanyl, or IMF). Most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. are linked to IMF.
  • Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive opioid.  

Opioids Prescribing Guidelines

Safe Use, Storage, and Disposal

Naloxone

Fentanyl

  • Unconsciousness, or inability to wake up
  • Limp body
  • Falling asleep, extreme drowsiness
  • Slow, shallow, irregular, or no breathing
  • Discolored skin (especially in lips and nails)
  • Cold and/or clammy skin
  • Choking, snoring, or gurgling sounds
  • Very small or “pinpoint” pupils

DO NOT:

  • Allow the victim to "sleep it off."
  • Put the victim in a bath or shower.
  • Leave the victim alone.
  • Treat the victim with home remedies - they do not work and often delay potentially life-saving medical treatment.
  • Delay calling 911 to clean up the scene.

Call 911 immediately if you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose.*

*A Good Samaritan law (63 O.S. § 2-413.1) was enacted in Oklahoma to provide immunity, under certain circumstances, to individuals seeking medical attention for someone who has overdose.

It may be hard to tell whether a person is high or experiencing an overdose. If you aren’t sure, treat it like an overdose—you could save a life.

  1. Call 911 Iimmediately.*
  2. Administer naloxone, if available.
  3. Try to keep the person awake and breathing.
  4. Lay the person on their side to prevent choking.
  5. Stay with the person until emergency assistance arrives.

*A Good Samaritan law (63 O.S. § 2-413.1) was enacted in Oklahoma to provide immunity, under certain circumstances, to individuals seeking medical attention for someone who has overdosed.

  • Only take medications as prescribed.
  • Never share or sell prescription drugs.
  • Properly dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired medications.
  • Secure your medications to avoid theft.
  • Naloxone is a safe and effective drug that reverses an opioid overdose. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist or visit OK I’m Ready.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Injury Prevention Service
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave., Suite 1702
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-6406

Physical Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK

Telephone: (405) 426-8440
Fax: (405) 900-7588

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