What to Do if You Think Someone is Overdosing

Steps to take

It may be hard to tell whether a person is high or experiencing an overdose. If you aren't sure, treat it like an overdose—you could save a life.

  1. Administer an overdose reversal medication like naloxone* (if available) and call 911.**
  2. Try to keep the person awake and breathing.
  3. Lay the person on their side to prevent choking.
  4. Stay with the person until emergency assistance arrives.

*Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose and save lives. It is available in Georgia and over the counter - you don't need a prescription.

**Georgia has a Medical Amnesty Law, which may protect a person who is overdosing or the person who called for help from criminal penalties.

Signs of an overdose

Recognizing the signs of opioid overdose can save a life. Here are some things to look for1:

  • Unconsciousness or inability to awaken
  • Slow or shallow breathing or difficulty breathing such as choking sounds or a gurgling/snoring noise from a person who cannot be awakened
  • Discolored skin (especially in nails or lips)
  • Small, constricted "pinpoint pupils" that don't react to light



Page updated 6/24/2024