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AT-HOME EMERGENCY
TREATMENT

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Her opioid dose was just increased… WHAT SHOULD I KNOW?

BE PREPARED FOR AN OPIOID EMERGENCY

HOW DOES AN OPIOID EMERGENCY OCCUR?

An opioid overdose emergency occurs when there are so many opioid molecules in the brain that they overwhelm the brain receptors and block the body’s drive to breathe. Signs of this life-threatening event include slow or shallow breathing, slowed heartbeat and weak pulse, a loss of consciousness, and pale, blue or cold skin. Every second counts, especially if a person stops breathing – without sufficient oxygen, brain damage may occur within 4 minutes, and death can occur as soon as 4 to 6 minutes later. That’s why it’s critical to know the signs of an opioid overdose emergency.

EMERGENCY TREATMENT OPTIONS

Opioid emergency-related deaths can often be prevented if a person receives emergency medical care and timely administration of an opioid overdose emergency treatment. For years, treatments that quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and help restore breathing have only been available in medical and hospital settings for use by trained personnel.

However, consumers are now able to purchase FDA-approved emergency treatments directly from the pharmacy, and many insurance plans cover them at a relatively low cost. Their role as an overdose reversal agent is critical, which is why the U.S. Surgeon General has recommended and reinforced consumer use of opioid emergency treatments in the first advisory in 13 years, emphasizing to anyone who may come in contact with a person overdosing to have an opioid emergency treatment on hand and within reach.

This is not a substitute for emergency medical care. When administering an emergency treatment option, always be sure to call 911 right away, even if the person wakes up. Rescue breathing or CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) may be given while waiting for emergency medical help to arrive.

Download the Pharmacy Resources Form to help start the conversation and learn more about emergency treatment options below.

Every 12.5 minutes, someone dies from an opioid overdose in the United States.

*Both prescription and illicit use.

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AT-HOME EMERGENCY
TREATMENT