Emergency Help

If you are experiencing or witnessing an opioid overdose in progress
CALL 911 immediately

Identify an Overdose

How to Identify an Opioid Overdose

An opioid overdose often can be identified by a combination of three signs and symptoms referred to as the “opioid overdose triad”. 
  • THREE Symptoms of the Opioid Overdose Triad are:
  •       1. pinpoint pupils
  •       2. unconsciousness
  •       3. respiratory depression.
More Detailed Symptoms of an Opioid Overdose 
  • Blue skin tinge- usually lips, nail beds and fingertips show first 
  • Very limp body 
  • Very pale face 
  • Pulse (heartbeat) slow, erratic, or not there at all 
  • Throwing up 
  • Passing out 
  • Choking sounds or a gurgling/snoring noise 
  • Breathing is very slow, irregular, shallow or has stopped 
  • Unable to respond 
  • Lack of response to stimulation (e.g., sternal rub or yelling of name)
Combining opioids with alcohol and sedative medication increases the risk of respiratory depression and death, and combinations of opioids, alcohol and sedatives are often present in fatal drug overdoses. WHO
Naloxone – Antidote to Opioid Overdose
Naloxone, which is effectively an antidote to opioid overdose, will completely reverse the effects of an opioid overdose if administered in time. Naloxone is effective when delivered by intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, and intranasal routes of administration. Naloxone has virtually no effect in people who have not taken opioids. Access to naloxone is generally limited to health professionals.

Administer Naloxone

The following are some traditional methods for managing an overdose that are not as effective as Naloxone and rescue breathing: 
  • Do not put the victim in a bath. He/she could drown. 
  • Do not induce vomiting. He/she could choke.
  • Do not give the victim something to drink. He/she could throw up or choke. 
  • Do not put ice down the victim’s pants. Cooling down the core body temperature of someone who is overdosing is dangerous because it will slow down his/her heart rate and can increase the risk of a heart arrhythmia.
  • Do not try to stimulate the victim in a way that could cause harm. Slapping too hard, kicking in the testicles, burning the bottom of the feet, etc. can cause long-term damage. 
  • Do not inject the victim with anything (saltwater, cocaine, milk). It will not work anymore than physical stimulation and can waste time. Also, every injection brings a risk of bacterial and viral infection, abscesses, endocarditis, cellulitis, etc.

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Emergency Help

Poison Control Centers 1-800-222-1222

SAMHSA National HELP LINE 1-800-662-4357

          [SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration]

Get The Free SAMHSA Behavioral Health Resource APP
click image to access app

Recovery After Overdoses [article and video]

Heroin Overdose Symptoms and Treatments [Project Know: Understanding Addiction]

What can be done for a Heroin Overdose [National Institute of Drug Abuse]

Opiate Poisoning [Patient]

Reversing Heroin Overdoses At Home - an innovative approach to saving lives 

Naloxone [Wikipedia]

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Link to more YouTube videos on Opioids and Pain Medications - - > Click HERE



The Need is Great and the Resources are Few

Your donation to Olympas Pain and Addiction Services OPAS enables life or death information to reach addicts, families, friends schools, community organizations and medical responders. 

As the medical director of OPAS for 25 years, I witness firsthand on a daily basis the destruction to human life that is caused by the use and the abuse of opioid pain medications and heroin. I see the damage not only to the suffering addict. I also see the devastating effect the person's addiction has on his or her family and friends.

Friends and family become accustomed to the addict’s lying, stealing and continual deception. What they are not prepared for is the opioid addict’s first overdose. It is a crushing blow to encounter a son, daughter, wife, husband, friend or neighbor lying unconscious on the floor. I say “first overdose.” Yes, if the loved one doesn’t die on the first overdose, there will probably be more, hopefully, not many more.

The initial response is “What do I do now?” “Who do I call?” “I feel so helpless.”

There is no more denial. With the loved one’s first overdose the friend or family member is confronted with the reality of helplessness, of possible death, of self blame for not having prepared for the scary moment.

Our medical team and support personnel searched websites and apps to find a mobile website or an app that we could use to recommend to family and friends to help them prepare for what to do when they were confronted with first and following overdoses of their loved one.

We could not find an app to meet the basic qualities of what we were looking for.

We made it our mission to develop a website, a mobile website and an app that could be accessed or downloaded onto any smartphone to provide the critical information that can be used, especially in a life or death situation to save a loved one collapsed in a serious opioid overdose. 

We have received very positive feedback on our OD websites and OD app. “OD” is short for Opioid Docs at OpioidDocs.com, the name of the online and mobile websites. Opioid Doc, as in OpioidDoc.com/ is the name of the OD APP. Share our Facebook page.

We invite you, no, we urge you to look over the OD websites and download the OD app to test for yourself the value of information, the diagrams, books, videos, lists of resources and contacts.

If you agree that our websites and app's can be helpful addicts, families, friends, schools, and medical practitioners in confronting the epidemic of drug use with new tools to meet the challenges head on, please help us.

There is so much more that needs to be done. You can help us make these tools even better and more effective. We need continuing research into new resources to augment the basics we have assembled so far. There are critical lists that need to be compiled. Plus, a huge effort is needed to get the word out to the providers, the institutions and the individuals who can benefit from our efforts.

If you can help promote the OD websites and app, please do. Maybe you can write them up in blog or a newsletter. Visit the websites and app. Share them with your friends, businesses, schools, churches, medical professionals and community organizations.

If you are in a position to donate money, we shall gladly and humbly accept whatever size contribution you can make. Just click the PayPal button and give what you can.

Thank you.

Dr. Kim Rotchford

Dan Youra


Alternative Treatments


National Institute of Drug Abuse

Center For Disease Control

Physicians and Clinicians

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration




Recovery Help

Recovery Help

Find a Treatment Center at Opioid.com

Methadone Treatment Centers

Elevate Addiction Services - California

Project Know Treatment Centers – California

Methadone centers in all states of US

Where are the doctors?
Nearly every U.S. physician — there are more than 900,000 of them — can write prescriptions for opioid painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin by simply signing on to a federal registry. In most states, nurse practitioners and physician assistants can also prescribe opioids.
But to prescribe buprenorphine to people addicted to opioids and heroin, doctors must take an eight-hour course and apply for a special license. So far, fewer than 32,000 doctors have received the license, and the vast majority who have one seldom if ever use it.

Legal Help

Good Samaritan Law

911 Good Samaritan Fatal Overdose Prevention Law [Drug Policy Alliance]

Casey’s Law

What is Casey’s Law?The Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Abuse Intervention is named for Matthew Casey Wethington, who died in 2002 from a heroin overdose at the age of 23. 
What does this law provide?
The act provides a means of intervening with someone who is unable to recognize his or her need for treatment due to their impairment. This law will allow parents, relatives and/or friends to petition the court for treatment on behalf of the substance abuse-impaired person.
Download Casey’s Law Bill

Drug Poisoning Mortality: United States 2002-2014



According to research that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 59 percent of all U.S. adults are currently on at least one prescription drug, and 15 percent of all U.S. adults are on at least five prescription drugs.  And the numbers are far worse for older Americans.  The following statistics come from one of my previous articles
According to the CDC, approximately 9 out of every 10Americans that are at least 60 years old say that they have taken at least one prescription drug within the last month.
There is an unintentional drug overdose death in the United States every 19 minutes.
In the United States today, prescription painkillers kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.
According to the CDC, approximately three quarters of a million people a year are rushed to emergency rooms in the United States because of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.
The percentage of women taking antidepressants in Americais higher than in any other country in the world.
Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants as children in Europe are.
A shocking Government Accountability Office report discovered thatapproximately one-third of all foster children in the United States are on at least one psychiatric drug.
A survey conducted for the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that more than15 percent of all U.S. high school seniors abuse prescription drugs.

Click to get Opioid DOC app

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CDC Statistics on Opioid Overdose Deaths

Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths — United ...

Summary. What is already known on this topic? The rate for drug overdose deaths has increased approximately 140% since 2000, driven largely by opioid ...

Drug-poisoning Deaths Involving Opioid Analgesics: United ...

On This Page. Key findings; Although the age-adjusted opioid-analgesic poisoning death rate nearly quadrupled from 1999 through 2011, the rate of ...

CDC Publications - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths — United States, 2000–2014. MMWR 2015; 64;1-5. Related page: ...

Prescription Drug Overdose Data | Prescription Drug ...

Deaths from Prescription Opioid Overdose Every day in the United States, 44 people die as a result of prescription opioid overdose. 1. Among those who ...

Opioid Data Analysis | Drug Overdose | CDC Injury Center

Regardless of the analysis strategy used, prescription opioids continue to be involved in more overdose deathsthan any other drug, and all the ...

Drug overdose deaths hit record numbers in 2014 | CDC ...

Drug overdose deaths hit record numbers in 2014. Over 47,000 deaths last year, mostly due to opioid pain relievers and heroin

Decrease in Rate of Opioid Analgesic Overdose Deaths ...

What is known already? Opioid analgesic–involved overdose mortality is a serious public health issue. In New York City, the rate of opioid analgesic ...

Increases in Heroin Overdose Deaths - Centers for Disease ...

Increases in Heroin Overdose Deaths — 28 States, 2010 ... American College of Medical Toxicology Expert Panel on Evaluating and Reporting Opioid ...

Heroin overdose deaths increased in many states through ...

Heroin overdose deaths increased in many states through 2012. Still twice as many people died from prescriptionopioid overdoses

Vital Signs: Overdoses of Prescription Opioid Pain ...

Vital Signs: Overdoses of Prescription Opioid Pain Relievers and Other Drugs Among Women — United States, 1999–2010. On July 2, this report was posted ...

Prescription Drug Overdose | Prescription Drug Overdose ...

Common Elements in Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic ... to more abuse and more overdose deaths. ... Fighting the Prescription Drug ...

CDC Online Newsroom - Press Release - Opioids drive ...

Opioids drive continued increase in drug overdose deaths . Drug overdose deaths increase for 11th consecutive year. Drug overdose deaths increased for ...

Prescription Painkiller Overdoses | VitalSigns | CDC

400%. Deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses among women have increased more than 400% since 1999, compared to 265% among men.

Poisoning Deaths Involving Opioid Analgesics — New York ...

Poisoning Deaths Involving Opioid Analgesics — New York State, 2003–2012. Please note: An erratum has been published for this article. To view the ...

Vital Signs: Risk for Overdose from Methadone Used for ...

Background: Vital statistics data suggest that the opioid pain reliever (OPR) methadone is involved in one third of OPR-related overdose deaths, but ...

Vital Signs: Overdoses of Prescription Opioid Pain ...

Background: Overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers (OPR), also known as opioid analgesics, have increased and now exceed deaths involving ...

CDC Grand Rounds: Prescription Drug Overdoses — a U.S ...

Prescription opioid overdose deaths—Utah, 2008–2009. Presented at the 59th Annual Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference. Atlanta, GA, April 19–23, ...

Overdose Deaths Involving Prescription Opioids Among ...

Overdose Deaths Involving Prescription Opioids Among Medicaid Enrollees --- Washington, 2004--2007. During 1999--2006, the number of poisoning deaths ...

[PDF] Drug-poisoning Deaths Involving Opioid Analgesics: United ...

NCHS Data Brief No. 166 September 2014 3 Benzodiazepines were involved in 31% of the opioid-analgesic poisoning deaths in 2011, up from 13% of such de ...

Understanding the Epidemic | Prescription Drug Overdose ...

... and Death. A big part of the ... Problematic prescribing practices are a leading contributor to epidemic. ... A prescription drug that can reverse ...