What Happens When Someone Overdoses on Heroin?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 828,000 people reported using heroin in the United States in 2015, and the numbers have likely increased from there. Heroin is a synthetic but highly addictive opioid that produces feelings of euphoria; individuals may smoke, inject intravenously, or snort this drug in order to achieve varying levels of intensity and at different rates of speed. Individuals who abuse heroin often exhibit a number of symptoms, including: drowsiness, slowed breathing, slowed heart rate, flushing of the skin, dry mouth, nausea, and vomiting. If you or someone you know has taken a lot of this drug, overdose is a grave concern.

As emphasized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), users who experience overdose cannot survive without medical attention, which is why you need to dial 911 immediately if you or a loved one has overdosed. Signs of this include:

  • Very pale skin
  • Blue tint to the lips and fingertips
  • Shallowing breathing and gasping for air
  • Extremely small pupils
  • Discolored tongue
  • Spasms or seizures
  • Constipation
  • Coma
  • Disorientation or delirium
  • Extreme drowsiness

Symptoms of a heroin overdose typically begin to show within 10 minutes of taking the drug dose. There are a few diverse types of medications that can be provided to help a person who has overdosed; Naloxone, for example, is an opioid antagonist (it blocks opioids without activating them) and has been shown to not only save lives, but is also quite cost-effective. Evzio is a hand-held injector that can be used for one shot of Naloxone and is injected into a muscle or underneath the skin.

As NBC News states, a deadly drug called fentanyl has been laced into heroin more recently than ever before, making fentanyl-laced heroin overdoses some of the worst that the U.S. has ever seen. If you have been struggling with heroin addiction, seek the help you need today. A reputable treatment program can provide you with the support and resources you need to move forward.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.

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