Service Directory for Drug and Alcohol Users


what happens when you OD?

Heroin (like morphine, methadone etc.) slows down your breathing, which means less oxygen gets to your brain and you risk falling into unconsciousness. With amphetamines (speed) you could have a very fast heart rate but still have difficulty in breathing and lose consciousness. Ketamine and GHB also make your breathing slow or erratic and may lead to coma.

Whatever the cause, you may actually stop breathing and you need help to stay alive. If you do not breathe for three to five minutes you will be left with some degree of brain damage. When you stop breathing automatically, someone else needs to breathe for you. This is called 'mouth-to-mouth' or EAR - Expired Air Resuscitation (see page 41 for more information).



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