What to Do in Case of an Overdose

This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Call 911 as soon as possible. A quick response is essential, especially in rural areas where emergency response time may be longer. Remain calm and try to answer the operator’s questions to the best of your ability. Never be afraid to call, even if you are overdosing or doing drugs.

Mississippi has a Good Samaritan law to protect people who call in case of an overdose for themselves or another person. This law does not protect people who are dealing drugs or who have a large amount of drugs in their possession.

What Not to Do

If you are trying to help someone who may have overdosed, or is unconscious from taking drugs:

  • Do not try to wake someone from an overdose by slapping or hitting them. It will only cause further injury. If you cannot wake the person by shouting, try rubbing your knuckles on the center of their chest or light pinching them.
  • Do not force any liquids in the person.
  • Do not put them in the cold bath or shower. This increases the risk of falling, drowning, or going into shock.
  • Do not try to make the person vomit drugs that may have been swallowed. Choking or inhaling vomit into the lungs can cause a fatal injury.
  • Do not try to help a semi-conscious person get up and walk around.
  • Do not leave the person alone to sleep it off.
  • Do not lie to emergency personnel. Give them complete and accurate information so they can give the best help right away.

Naloxone: An Overdose Antidote

Naloxone, also known as Narcan® and Kloxxado®, is the only antidote to opioid poisoning or an opioid overdose.

Naloxone should be given to any person who shows signs of an opioid overdose or when an overdose is suspected.

Mississippi is in the process of ensuring that all the state’s emergency services have it on hand and know how to administer it.

Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to you without a prescription from a doctor or other medical practitioner.
Read the statewide standing order »

Naloxone is also available at no cost from the Mississippi State Department of Health, mailed directly to your home.

How to Get Naloxone

Naloxone can reverse an overdose from opioids, including heroin, fentanyl and prescription opioid medications..

Pharmacists can now dispense prescription naloxone directly to the public on request, or be purchased over the counter (OTC). The MSDH Public Health Pharmacy can also dispense naloxone to you by mail at no cost to you. No visit to a physician or other medical provider is required.

How to get naloxone:

  • Visit a participating pharmacist and request a naloxone prescription.
  • Purchase non-prescription naloxone over the counter at a pharmacy.
  • Request a free naloxone kit by mail from the Mississippi State Department of Health.

If you or someone you know is at an increased risk for opioid overdose, you should carry naloxone and keep it at home.

Learn More

Last reviewed on Jan 3, 2023 request edits
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866‑HLTHY4U Contact and information

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