Translate This Page Print This Page Email a Friend Newsletter Sign-Up
Text Size : Sm Med Lg

Prevent Overdose

Overdose Prevention Resources for Providers

Facts About Drug Overdose
Click to enlarge
Other languages: [En Español] [Русский]
  • Opioid overdoses are preventable.
  • Most drug overdoses involve opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers.
  • Prescription painkillers such as oxycodone are a growing cause of drug overdoses.
  • Naloxone, or Narcan, is a medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdose. It became legal to carry naloxone in New York State in 2006.
  • Even though most people think that overdoses are immediate, most overdoses occur 1 to 3 hours after the drug us taken. Only about 1 in 8 ODs happen immediately after the drug us taken.
  • Most drug overdose deaths in New York City happen at home.
  • Most drug overdoses are witnessed, meaning that someone else can call for help.
Know Your Risk
Click to enlarge
Other languages: [En Español] [Русский]
  • If you are taking drugs, try to be with other people. If you're alone and something goes wrong, no one can help.
  • Know your limits. If your body has been drug-free for a while and then you take drugs, you are more likely to overdose. Take less than usual.
  • Don't mix drugs. You're more likely to overdose if you combine an opioid, like a painkiller or heroin, with alcohol, cocaine, benzos, or other drugs.
What to Do in Case of an Overdose
  • Call 911.
  • If the person is not breathing, do rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth). Tilt the person's head back, pinch their nose, and give two quick breaths. Continue with one breath every five seconds. If you know CPR, give CPR instead of rescue breathing: 1 breath and 30 compressions every minute.
  • Give naloxone (Narcan) if you have it. Spray half a dose of nasal naloxone into each nostril, or shoot injectable naloxone into the upper arm or thigh.
  • Wait 3 to 5 minutes for the person to respond. Continue rescue breathing (or CPR if you are trained). If the person does not respond after 3-5 minutes, give a 2nd dose of naloxone.
  • Lay the person on their side in the rescue position, so they do not choke if they vomit.
    Wait for help to arrive.


Additional Resources

Find the right drug or alcohol abuse treatment program with the
Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator

For 24 hour / seven days per week information and referral,
call 1-800-LIFENET.