What should be done in case of drug intoxication?

Although the aftereffects of drug intoxication may be delayed for up to 24 hours, medical professionals agree that the sooner treatment is initiated, the better.

What should be done in case of drug intoxication?
What to do if someone is high on drugs. Photo by GRAS GRÜN / Unsplash

Drug intoxication is caused by exposure of the nose, touch, or mouth to a harmful substance, usually accidentally or unintentionally. Detecting that a person is under the influence of intoxication is crucial to act promptly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But how do you know when someone is under the influence of drugs?

According to information from the CDC, symptoms of drug intoxication can range from mild to very severe, depending on the substance contacted. Symptoms can range from stomach upset, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Also, not-so-everyday discomforts may occur, such as:

Abdominal pain
Purple lips
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breathDizziness
Double vision
Heart palpitations
Numbness and tingling
Skin rash
Loss of consciousness

How to act in the case of drug intoxication?

If you suspect that you or any of the people around you have been intoxicated by drugs, you must identify how the substance was ingested. This will help you to act efficiently.

For example, if it is intoxication by ingestion or inhalation of drugs, the first step to take is to examine and monitor the subject's airway, i.e., remain attentive to both breathing and pulse. Do not try to make someone throw up unless a doctor or nurse tells you to.

If vomiting is already present, clear the airway.

If the person starts having convulsions, first aid is to turn the person on his or her left side and keep him or her in that position until medical help arrives.

Meanwhile, if symptoms of drug food poisoning occur, such as diarrhea or vomiting, the CDC recommends drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.