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What is an overdose?

An overdose (also known as “severe intoxication”) is when a person took too much of a substance, like alcohol or drugs. When someone takes a toxic amount of drugs or alcohol, their body becomes overwhelmed. They need medical attention immediately.

DIFFERENT SUBSTANCES CAN HAVE DIFFERENT EFFECTS

Different substances affect the body in different ways. Sometimes two people taking the same substance will react in completely different ways.

What stays the same during an overdose is: the body is overwhelmed because it has taken too much. This can cause serious harm, disability, or even death. An overdose can happen by accident or on purpose.

SIGNS OF A DEPRESSANT OVERDOSE

A depressant substance is a substance that make you feel down or sleepy. Examples of depressant substances are Alcohol, opioids, “downers”, “benzos”, etc.

  • Losing consciousness/not waking up
  • Seizures
  • Blue lips/fingernails
  • Extreme confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Slow hearbeat
  • Slow or irregular breathing, or no breathing
  • Tiny pupils
     

SIGNS OF A STIMULANT OVERDOSE

A slimulant substance is a substance that make you feel excited or awake. Examples of stimulant substances are Cocaine, speed, crystal meth, MDMA/ecstasy, “uppers”, etc.

  • In and out of consciousness/losing consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Severe headaches
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Body temperature gets very warm, very fast
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Severe agitation or excitement

AN OVERDOSE CAN HAPPEN WHEN:

  • Tolerance is lower because you’re new to use, you took a break from using.
  • You have been sick, tired, run down, dehydrated or have other health complications.
  • You mix drugs, even if they’re prescribed or legal.
  • The drugs are different or unknown. Maybe you changed dealers, towns or substances, or maybe the substance you’re using is more potent than usual.
  • An adult or child accidentally consumes a drug.

An overdose or severe intoxication is dangerous and needs immediate medical attention. Contact your local emergency medical services immediately if you suspect an overdose.

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