Prevention

Preventing drug overdose

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Tips for Preventing Overdose

The best way to not overdose is not to use drugs, but if you do, please follow the below recommendations.
 - Know what you are taking, if you don’t call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or look it up on the net here: http://www.drugs.com/pill_identification.html
 - Know the strength of the drug you are taking (Is it 2mg vs. 80mg).
 - Know how long the drug will affect you (Is it short acting, long acting or extended release?).
 - Don’t mix your drugs (this includes alcohol, benzos, antidepressants, cocaine).
 - If you don’t use for a while (couple days, weeks, months) start with a low dose. When you don’t use for a little while your tolerance goes down.
 - Use with other people: If something goes wrong they can have your back. Don’t use alone!
 - Find out where you can get Naloxone.
 People at higher risk of opioid overdose
 - People with opioid dependence, in particular following reduced tolerance (following detoxification, release from incarceration, cessation of treatment);
 - People who inject opioids;
 - People who use prescription opioids, in particular, those taking higher doses;
 - People who use opioids in combination with other sedating substances;
 - People who use opioids and have medical conditions such as HIV, liver or lung disease or suffer from depression;
household members of people in possession of opioids (including prescription opioids).

People likely to witness an opioid overdose
 - People at risk of an opioid overdose, their friends, and families;
 - People whose work brings them into contact with people who overdose (health-care workers, police, emergency service workers, people providing accommodation to people who use drugs, peer education and outreach workers).
 

Risk factors for overdoses with prescribed opioids include a history of substance use disorders, high prescribed dosage (over 100mg of morphine or equivalent daily), male gender, older age, multiple prescriptions including benzodiazepines, mental health conditions, and lower socioeconomic status.

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