Drug overdose is at an all-time high, no pun intended. Read this guide carefully to prevent overdose. This guide's not intended as medical advice.

In this article: 

  1. Facts about overdose
  2. Reasons for using drugs alone
  3. Suspect an overdose
  4. What to do in case of an overdose
  5. What is Naloxone, and where can I get it?

Facts about overdose


  • Over 932,000 people have died from a drug overdose since 1999.
  • Most, if not all, drug overdoses involve opioids, which include heroin and prescription painkillers. These are preventable. 
  • Naloxone helps reverse the effects of opioid overdose.
  • Overdoses aren't immediate and occur 1 to 3 hours after taking the drug.
  • Most drug overdoses are witnessed, and someone can save the person overdosing. Hence, this guide!

Reasons for using drugs alone

 person consuming drug

To understand this, we'll have to contextualize the experiences of solo drug use. People often use drugs alone for reasons of safety. 

People consuming drugs worry about being harmed when intoxicated. Hence drugs can be embodied and felt to the fullest when consumed alone, allowing you to feel pleasure and relief from pain.

How do we suspect an overdose?

If you find yourself in a drug overdose situation around you, your best bet is to call the emergency number and wait till medical help arrives. 

  • If the individual has a seizure, you must wait until convulsions have ceased. After which, try and place them in the recovery position
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe stomach pain and abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of coordination
  • Being unresponsive but awake
  • Limp body
  • Seizures (fitting)
  • Drowsiness and confusion
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Slow or erratic pulse
  • Difficulty breathing, shallow or erratic breathing or not breathing at all
  • Hallucination
  • Visual disturbances
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Snoring deeply
  • Blue fingernails or lips
  • Pale or clammy face
  • Loss of consciousness.

What to do in case of an overdose

overdose of a drug

#1: The first thing you must do without fail is call the ambulance.

#2 Make use of naloxoneif you have it. Spray the Narcan nasal spray into one nostril or inject it into the upper arm.

#3 If the individual is found to be not breathing, then do not just stand there but perform CPR

#4 Give a second dose of Naloxone if the person is not breathing.

#5 Lay the person on their side in the rescue position so they do not choke if they vomit.

What is Naloxone, and where can I get it?


Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an overdose of opioids which includes fentanyl, heroin and other prescription medications. This is given through a nasal spray.

Naloxone is easily available in all major pharmacies. 

Let's end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died, and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.

Time to Remember. Time to Act.