October 29, 2018 Felicia Durling

Overdose Emergency: When to Call 911

When a drug overdose happens, sometimes friends and family are worried about the fear of arrest or legal action, so they delay the phone call to 911. It is easy to understand why someone would be worried about legal recourse, but people also need to remember that delaying the phone call could be a life-or-death situation for the person experiencing the overdose.

Symptoms of an Overdose

Every person needs to be familiar with potential overdose symptoms so that they know when to call for emergency services. Keep in mind that these symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the overdose and the type of substance that was used. Common overdose symptoms include:

  • Blue tint to the fingertips and lips
  • Pale skin
  • Gasping for air or shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Seizures or spasming
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Vomiting or severe nausea

Saving the Person’s Life

As with many other medical conditions, timing is essential when critical medical care is needed. In the same way that someone having a heart attack needs immediate medical services, a person who is overdosing needs to get to the hospital as soon as possible. The key is to access the medical care right away because delaying the services could result in the loss of life.

The Good Samaritan Law offers legal protection to those who offer reasonable assistance to someone in peril or injured. You shouldn’t be worried about calling 911 right away, because this protection means that you don’t need to face repercussions from the situation.

Honesty About the Situation

Making the 911 phone call is just the first step. It is imperative that you are honest about the situation so that the right treatments can be administered. Explaining the situation in detail means that the dispatch will be better prepared to handle the situation, and possibly save the person’s life. For example, if you suspect that the person is overdosing on heroin, then you should share that information with the person on the dispatch call.

Once the immediate medical treatments are complete, the next step is to find an addiction recovery center to assist with the long-term treatments. For more information about the best services for drug addiction in Temecula, talk to our experienced team at The Center for Life Change: (951) 775-4000

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