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.
Calling your health care provider