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Opioid poisoning (overdose) happens when you take more of an opioid than the body can handle. This can stop the brain, heart, and lungs from working. Naloxone is a medicine that stops opioid poisoning.
If you need to give naloxone, make sure you are safe first.
If you’re in an unsafe place or there are dangerous things around (like used needles that can’t be safely removed), call 911 and follow the operator’s instructions.
If you’re safe, follow these steps.
If they’re breathing, put them in the recovery position. Roll them on their side. Place their opposite hand underneath their head. Pull the top knee out so they don’t roll onto their stomach.
If they’re not breathing, start rescue breathing. To do this, tilt their head back and lift their chin up. Give 1 rescue breath every 5 seconds for 2 minutes (about 24 breaths).
If they’re not breathing after 2 minutes of rescue breaths, prepare to give naloxone.
Give another (second) dose of naloxone if they still don’t respond or breathe on their own after 2 minutes of rescue breathing. Keep rescue breathing for 2 minutes in between doses. Repeat with any extra doses of naloxone (if you have some) and 2 minutes of rescue breathing until help arrives or they wake up or breathe on their own.
If they start breathing or respond, place them in the recovery position.
Tell them what you saw, what you did, and how much naloxone you gave.
If you need to leave before medical help arrives, place them in the recovery position. Leave the used naloxone kit with all the vials and needles. Put it in a safe place so the medical team can see how much naloxone you gave.
You can get a naloxone kit at pharmacies, walk-in clinics, and other places where you live. You can also visit www.drugsafe.ca or www.ahs.ca/naloxone and click “Get Naloxone”.
To see this information online and learn more, visit MyHealth.Alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=custom.ab_opioids_naloxonekit_inst_adult.
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: June 24, 2020
Author: Provincial Harm Reduction Services, Alberta Health Services
Care instructions may be adapted by your healthcare provider. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, talk with your doctor or appropriate healthcare provider.