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Opioid intoxication

  • Alternative Names

    Intoxication - opioids


    Proper airway management is important. This may involve

    • Breathing support to help maintain proper oxygen levels
    • Tube placed through the mouth into the lungs (endotracheal intubation)
    • Medicine called naloxone, which helps block the effect of the overdose drug on the central nervous system (such medicine is called a narcotic antagonist)

    In most cases, the health care team will monitor the patient for 4 to 6 hours in the emergency room, although the optimal observation time after opioid intoxication has not been defined for most opioids. Those with moderate-to-severe intoxications will likely be admitted to the hospital for 24- to 48 hours.

    A psychiatric evaluation is needed for all exposures with suicidal intent.

    Tests that will be done include:

    • A toxicology screen to detect other substances that may require specialized treatment

    Once the acute intoxication has been treated, most individuals would benefit from a discussion of counseling resources available to help stop drug abuse.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)


    Calling your health care provider