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Get Emergency Care for a Drug Overdose in Arizona

A drug overdose occurs when a person takes more than the recommended amount of a drug. While drug overdoses can be intentional, most are accidental and unintentional. An overdose can lead to toxic drug levels in the body — such as from illegal drugs, narcotics, prescription medications, and over-the-counter medicines — and lead to life-threatening complications.

Dignity Health offers immediate treatment for drug overdose in Arizona, as part of our emergency services. You should call 9-1-1 right away if you suspect an overdose.


Drug Overdose Symptoms

Symptoms of overdose depend on the kind of drug(s) taken. Toxic levels of prescription, over-the-counter, and recreational drugs can cause a wide range of serious side effects.

Some examples of drug overdose symptoms are:

  • Breathing problems, extreme drowsiness, and unconsciousness — caused by narcotics and depressants (downers)
  • Aggression, paranoia, hallucinations — caused by hallucinogens
  • Agitation, rapid breathing, and rapid heart rate — caused by stimulants (upper)s
  • Serious side effects at toxic levels — caused by prescription and over-the-counter drugs
  • Impaired motor skills — caused by marijuana and many other drugs

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 for emergency medical care.


Drug Overdose Causes

The following risk factors make you more likely to have a drug overdose:

  • Heavy drug use
  • Combining drugs and alcohol or mixing different kinds of drugs
  • Using drugs while alone
  • Use of injection drugs
  • Having a mental health condition
  • History of drug overdose
  • Poor overall health


Drug Overdose Treatment at Dignity Health

Treatment for overdose will depend on the type of drug(s) taken. For suspected overdoses, always call 9-1-1.

While waiting for assistance, you can help someone that has had an overdose by following these steps:

  • Comfort them (i)f they are conscious and helping them remain calm.
  • Try to determine what type of drug was taken.
  • Try to prevent the person from taking any more of the drug. Keep yourself safe if the person is acting aggressively.
  • If the person is unconscious, check their vital signs (b)reathing and pulse, and start CPR if necessary until help arrives.

For less severe situations that still require a trip to the ER, use our InQuicker™ online tool and select your estimated hospital arrival time. Upon arrival and check-in, you will see a doctor who will assess your situation and determine the next appropriate level of care.

Dignity Health offers a wide range of diagnostic tests and emergency treatments for mild to severe cases of drug overdose in Arizona.