I thought I would add to this thread, because I have been in two situations where someone OD'd on me.
[Before beginning, it might be worth mentioning that though he never certified, SWIM does have EMT-B training, but even if that's true for SWIY, CALL AN AMBULANCE ANYWAY]
In the first event, SWIM
's brother was coming down from Methamphetamine
, and was begging SWIM for something to help him. Previously, SWIM had administered a cotton-rinse shot of tar heroin
, which was helpful, several days previous. As a result, he was, you might say, pre-disposed to help him out again. This is where SWIM made a terrible mistake. He only pulled up 20 units, but it was NOT
a cotton-rinse! It was freshly cooked-down tar. Now, SWIM's brother used to have a HUGE Fentanyl
habit, several years prior to this, but had apparently developed a hyper-sensitivity in the interim (not even CONSIDERED by SWIM, ANOTHER mistake). The dose was administered, and within... God... A minute, tops? He was out. SWIM noticed cyanosis about the lips, and his brother vomited before he could be moved into the recovery position. At this point (and it should have been sooner, but this was SWIM's first OD, and he was not entirely
sure it was a serious overdose until then), an ambulance was called. After this, SWIM rushed to administer nalaxone, but (AND THIS IS A GOOD LESSON FOR WHY YOU CALL AN AMBULANCE, ANYWAY) he STILL did not come to. As it happened, getting him awake (if even possible, once he was in that condition) might have done little good, as he had aspirated some of the vomit and was suffering from (as I understand it, fairly severe) pulmonary edema. The ambulance came, and his brother turned out to be alright. He learned way, way too many important lessons that day, although to his credit, the paramedics did say that he probably would have progressed further, possibly dying, had SWIM not
administered the nalaxone, when he did.
As it turns out, several years later, this information was needed ONCE AGAIN! Thankfully, SWIM could not take responsibility for THIS ONE, and it was a BLESSING, he was in the presence of another experienced user who could assist with efforts.
SWIM was out with a friend, trying to score, and was meeting a new connect through his friend. This new connect invited us over to his and his girlfriend's apartment, SWIM, his friend, the connect, all did some coke
, wrapped up the deal, then the connect started rolling up a shot for him and his girlfriend. THIS is the story SWIM wanted to share, because he used a rather unusual solution to remedy the situation. The shot he rolled up was, as you might have guessed, too large. Not for him, his was fine. His girlfriend, however, was another matter entirely. She mostly smoked the tar, but had recently taken up IV use on occasion. It was reported by the connect she had recently OD'd a short period before this. A BAD OMEN, if you hear this. Another lesson learned. He administered the shot, and she begun to nod almost instantly. All seemed well for a few minutes, there was some debate between SWIM, his friend, and the connection as to her condition. This progressively turned to grave concern, when she became progressively more difficult to arouse. Then, it turned to panic, when SWIM noticed the same cyanosis around the lips again, as he had seen with his brother. The connection did not possess nalaxone, and seemed hesitant to call an ambulance. SWIM's friend, quick thinking friend he is, knew that sometimes the connection would shoot up Suboxones to stay well. As it happened, he had one prepped (THANK GOD), and we were able to quickly pull this up and administer it.
By the grace of God, it was successful. She didn't come around right away. Actually, we were moving her when she did. SWIM remembers he was terribly worried the same thing with the aspirated vomit would happen, and then, an ambulance was inevitable. Considering the connect had, at that time, possibly over an ounce of tar heroin (among other drugs
, quantity) at his apartment, SWIM is not sure he [the connect] would have risked an ambulance, despite his many proclamations of sincere love for his girlfriend.
It's worth adding that for this, this connection later turned out to be an animal, and girlfriend, abusing son-of-a-bitch, and also a THIEF. He stole SWIM's friend's father's laptop. Word is, they're still some on-off dealings between SWIM's friend and him. SWIM won't have anything to do with him, as he feels he was initially deceived into thinking this was an OK person. SWIM DESPISES ANIMAL ABUSERS TO POTENTIALLY VIOLENT LEVELS. Word is, he's gotten his since then, though.
ALWAYS be wary of the people you're using around. Another lesson.
I'm curious what others think of using Suboxone
(in an emergency) to reverse an OD? Was it pure luck it worked? It DOES have nalaxone in it, so it has to be better than nothing, no? If I had the spare nalaxone bottles to spare, I'd travel with them when I thought situations like these might be even remotely possible. I'd advise all other heroin users to get their hands on nalaxone, and become familiar with it's proper usage for emergency situations.