What does an opioid overdose look like?

An opioid overdose can occur for a variety of reasons, including overusing prescribed medications, using someone else’s prescribed opioid, or mixing a prescription opioid with alcohol or other drugs. An opioid overdose is life-threatening and requires immediate emergency attention. Recognizing the signs of an opioid overdose is essential to saving a life.

Call 911 immediately if a person exhibits any of these symptoms:

  • Their face is extremely pale and/or feels clammy to the touch
  • Their body goes limp
  • Their fingernails or lips have a purple or blue color
  • They start vomiting or making gurgling noises
  • They cannot be awakened or are unable to speak
  • Their breathing or heartbeat slows or stops