Drug overdoses are on the rise, particularly among young people. There have been many news stories lately about teens dying of which has led to many stocking up on the drug naloxone which can reverse the effects of opioid drug overdoses. It is important to remember the ways you can protect yourself and your boundaries when it comes to drug use. What can you do?
Get the Facts
It is important to have the facts when it comes to understanding drug overdoses. Signs of an opioid overdose include small pupils, losing consciousness, slow or weak breathing, choking or gurgling sounds, a limp body, cold or clammy skin, and discolored skin. If someone may be experiencing a drug overdose, you should call 911 immediately. If you or someone around you has naloxone, you can administer it to the person. It is not harmful if given to someone who is not having an overdose. Try to keep the person awake and breathing and lay them on their side. Stay with them until emergency services arrive. Just like it is a good idea to have in case you or someone you know needs them, it can also be a good idea to have naloxone on hand in case someone around you needs it. Find out if it is available through your school.
Just like abstinence is the best way to prevent against pregnancy and STIs, it is also the best way to prevent against drug overdose. It can be hard to know if drugs are laced or mixed with fentanyl if they did not come directly from a doctor or pharmacy so abstaining or not using drugs is the best way to protect yourself.
Consent is used for more than just sexual situations. When it comes to using drugs, going to a party, being in a new situation, or many other things in life, practice consent to make sure you protect your own boundaries and comfort. It is always ok to say no to something if you do not feel comfortable or are unsure. Never pressure someone to do something that they seem hesitant about.
Talk to a Trusted Adult
It is helpful to talk to a trusted adult about drugs, your boundaries, parties, new situations, or even these headlines we have been seeing about teen overdoses. It may seem scary to talk to a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult but remember they have been in your shoes before and may be more helpful than you think! Check out our . Trusted adults can help you understand what your boundaries are and help you make a plan to use consent and stay true to your comfort.
Understanding how to prevent against drug overdoses is an important way to own your health. Remember that we can use many of the skills we use to protect against pregnancy and STIs.