Find Local Treatment Options
Call 800-481-6320 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.Who Answers?

How Heroin Overdose Treatment Works

How Heroin Overdose Treatment WorksAccording to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin is a drug synthesized from the powerful painkiller morphine. Morphine is made from the opium poppy, which is found in Asia. Unfortunately, it is a highly addictive drug. There are currently over four million people who tried heroin and many of those who are addicts.

Like all opiates, heroin is extremely powerful. On top of that dealers and manufacturers often mix heroin with a variety of other substances to make it more profitable. These fillers might be as dangerous as heroin itself. Many heroin addicts wind up overdosing on it. If you or a friend is considering doing heroin it is a good idea to know how heroin overdose treatment works.

How do you Overdose on Heroin?

Most people who overdose on heroin take too much of it at once. There is only so much of the drug the body can handle. There are also incidents of accidental overdose, where the drug was more powerful than expected or mixed with other substances.

One method of using heroin is injecting it. When you inject a drug the chance of overdose gets higher. It is difficult to judge exactly how much heroin it takes to overdose on it and someone who is using heroin for the first time is just as at risk for overdose as someone who is a regular user.

If caught early an overdose may not be fatal but definitely requires medical attention. Although you might not want to call an ambulance, that is the best solution. Almost no hospitals call the police if you overdose. Your hospital care and the reason why you are in the hospital falls under the HIPAA laws.

What are the Symptoms of Heroin Overdose?

According to the National Library of Medicine’s Medline Service, the signs of a heroin overdose are usually categorize by the body system they affect. Some of these symptoms are relatively benign, while others may result in death. The basic symptoms of a heroin overdose are:

  • Nervous system symptoms:

o coma,

o hallucinations

o delirium,

o confusion

o disorientation,

o drowsiness, and

o muscle spasms.

  • Circulatory system symptoms:

o low blood pressure,

o low heart rate, and

o weak or erratic pulse.

  • Outward symptoms:

o bluish skin,

o discoloration of the tongue,

o pinpoint pupils,

o bluish nails, and

o pale appearance.

  • Digestive system symptoms:

o constipation,

o nausea,

o dry mouth,

o vomiting, and

o cramping, spasms of the intestines

  • Respiratory system symptoms:

o slow breathing,

o irregular breathing,

o no breathing, or

o difficulty breathing.

Respiratory and cardiac arrest might accompany these symptoms. If someone you know uses heroin and experiences any of these symptoms it is important to get help immediately. Emergency personnel can stop an overdose almost instantly by administering a dose of a drug named Narcan. This drug sends the person into withdrawal but ultimately saves their life.

Treatment at Home

heroin overdose

The first thing to do if you are witnessing a heroin overdose is call 911.

Heroin overdose treatment starts with a call to 911 or poison control. When you call the operator will ask questions about the person overdosing. These questions will include:

  • what the person took,
  • how old they are,
  • how much they weigh,
  • how tall they are,
  • how much of the drug they took,
  • how they took the drug, and
  • how long ago they took it.

Although not necessary, if you know the answer to these questions, the operator can better help you with the overdose. If you do not know do not wait or try to ask the person who is overdosing. They might not be able to answer you and seconds count in this situation.

If the person is unconscious, you will need to check if they are still breathing or not. Follow the CPR guidelines if they are not. If you do not know CPR the emergency operator might instruct you on how to do it correctly.

The operator will dispatch emergency crews to help you as soon as you call. When the ambulance gets there, try to stay out of the way and answer any questions they might have.

Treatment at the Hospital

When they reach the emergency room, a doctor will assess them and administer Narcan if necessary. Depending on how they took the drug, doctors might also administer what is known as a gastric lavage. This removes any undigested heroin from their stomach.

If they are violent, a doctor will order restraints to make sure they do not hurt themselves or the staff of the hospital. Doctors and nurses try to do everything they can to avoid this but sometimes it is necessary.

After the initial medications and treatment is given, usually the hospital will keep them until they are certain they are:

  • coherent,
  • out of danger,
  • not trying to harm themselves,
  • do not want to detox in the hospital, and
  • safe.

It is really up to the hospital whether the patient is admitted or not. Admissions are usually on a case-by-case basis.

What Happens after a Heroin Overdose?

After a heroin overdose, it is up to the person to seek help. Many hospitals have information on drug treatment programs and rehab options. An overdose is a very serious problem; most people who overdose are addicted to the drug. The overdose can kill you where withdrawal cannot.

If you are the one who overdosed, it is important that you seek treatment.

More Rehab Centers Resources

10 Types of Treatment found in Holistic Drug Rehab

holistic addiction treatment

About Holistic Drug Rehab Holistic drug rehab is a way for people to receive the help they need to detox and learn to manage their drug addiction, without the use of medication and unnatural resources. Holistic rehab program focus on a person finding balance and learning to manage their own addiction. According to the Center….

Continue reading

How Change Happens in Rehab

Many people have a distorted view of rehab that it is a place where conformity and unsolicited advice for personal and interpersonal situations permeate the atmosphere, but, thanks to decades of proven research and studies, the SAMHSA has determined that “controlled clinical trials place confrontational approaches among the least effective treatment methods.” It takes a….

Continue reading

Where Can I Find Rehabilitation Centers Near Me?

rehab for addiction

The decision to enter drug treatment often comes with much deliberation and pain. After so many months or years of drug abuse, getting needed treatment help often becomes the only viable option. When asking the question, “Where can I find rehabilitation centers near me?,” gaining access to the vast array of resources available can go….

Continue reading

How to Visit Your Loved One in Their Rehab Center

As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Involvement of a family member or significant other in an individual’s treatment program can strengthen and extend treatment benefits.” It is common for someone in a residential or inpatient rehab center to feel disconnected from their loved ones, and vice-versa, but visiting your friend, spouse, or….

Continue reading

Dual Diagnosis: Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

co-occurring disorders

Dual diagnosis refers to a condition in which one person is affected by two or more mental health disorders, one being the disease of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it also implies that the two illnesses often interact and worsen the course of both. The condition of dual diagnosis is very….

Continue reading

Ask These 7 Questions Before Picking a Drug Rehab

When you make the decision to go to drug rehab, you’re devoting your time, money, and trust into the addiction treatment center, so you need to make sure it’s worth it. To know if you’re choosing the right facility, be sure to ask these seven questions before making the final decision about where to get….

Continue reading

How Rehab Centers Help You Cope with Withdrawal from Dilaudid

dilaudid addiction

Dilaudid is a brand name medication containing the drug hydromorphone. A strong opioid analgesic, hydromorphone can cause all of the same withdrawal symptoms that other opioid drugs can cause including restlessness, muscle and bone pain, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting, and insomnia. Rehab centers can actually help you cope with withdrawal from Dilaudid, and the stronger….

Continue reading

Benefits of Free Long Term Drug Rehab

addiction help

When you hear the phrase “free long term drug rehab” what comes to mind? Anybody with an addiction wants to overcome their problem as soon as possible. At the same time, these people realize the importance of getting the right help, now and in the future, to ensure a better life. There is a lot….

Continue reading

Still can't find the help you are looking for?Get Started Now
Accepted Insurances / View the full list
For inquiries call 800-481-6320 Who Answers?

Accepted Insurances Does My Insurance
Cover This?

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by a quality treatment center within the USA.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by a licensed drug and alcohol rehab facility, a paid advertiser on RehabCenters.com.

All calls are private and confidential.

I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWI NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOW800-481-6320
Who Answers?

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares