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How to Respond to an Overdose

An overdose happens when high amounts of drugs shut down the body’s essential systems. They can cause brain damage, comas, seizures, and even death. Whether an overdose is accidental, intentional, or some combination of the two, immediate medical attention is required.

What are Overdose Symptoms?

The drug that your teen has used will determine the specific overdose symptoms they will experience. Here are some general overdose symptoms:

  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Dangerously slow breathing
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Blue lips or fingers

Unconsciousness overdoses are overwhelming–not just for the user but also for their family and friends. However, the best way to respond to an overdose is to prevent it altogether. A drug addiction treatment program will support your teen’s substance use disorder. Destinations for Teens’ residential and outpatient programs will support your teen in their journey to sobriety. But if you ever need to respond to an overdose, here are some helpful tips.

Tips for Responding to a Teen Overdose

If you find your teen is experiencing an overdose, there are specific steps you should immediately take.

Try to Remain as Calm as Possible

As a person witnessing an overdose, it might seem unnatural to be calm. But if you do your best not to panic, you will be able to make clear decisions.

Call 911

If your teen is experiencing an overdose, do not ignore the signs. And don’t think the problem can be remedied on its own. Instead, seek medical attention immediately. If you fail to call 911, you can be held responsible for the overdose outcome.

Stay with your Teen Until Help Arrives

It is important for a teen experiencing an overdose to have family or friends present to support this experience. If you know your teen is actively using an opioid, it doesn’t hurt to have access to a Naloxone Kit. Some locations provide kits and training to help prevent an overdose from becoming fatal. How you respond to an overdose could mean the difference between a life and death situation. The experts at Destinations for Teens are here to help you make the difference.

Discussing Overdose With Your Teen

If your teen experiences an overdose, it is an indication that their life has gotten out of control. The first step in overcoming a substance use disorder is to have open and honest conversations about substance use’s impact on their lives. Next, have ongoing conversations about the power of sobriety and how this will help them live happier lives. Sending a child to rehab isn’t easy, but it can be life-saving. Discussing substance use disorder and its ultimate consequence -overdose– is not easy but needs to be an ongoing conversation for families. By teaching teens accurate information, they will be less inclined to rely on friends for their knowledge of substances such as drugs and alcohol.

Fight Teen Overdose With Destinations For Teens

Knowing the signs and symptoms of an overdose will help you save your teen from fatality. And having ongoing conversations about drug use will support them in making healthy decisions about their usage. However, if you truly want to help your teen lead a drug-free life, it is time to seek treatment. Destinations for Teens offers residential and outpatient treatment services for teens experiencing substance use disorder. Our team of experienced therapists and residential treatment specialists is here to support teens on their journey to living a drug and/or alcohol-free life. In addition, our dual diagnosis treatment, as well as art therapy services, will further help your teen. Contact us at 877.466.0620 to learn how Destinations For Teens can provide your family with support to help your teen.