What is Opioid Intoxication?

Opioids are a medication people use for pain management, but may also use it for other things. The drugs bind to receptors in the brain and release dopamine. Some drugs like methadone, codeine, fentanyl, and others fit into this category. Opioid intoxication is a very real risk for people who may struggle with addiction or taking too many drugs. Learn more about what it is and how to keep safe from intoxication due to the overuse of opioids.

Risk Factors

There are some upfront risk factors for people who use opioids to be aware of before use. This may include lack of social support, inadequate treatment for pain, and depression issues. People who are older and struggle with memory issues may forget they’ve taken their medication and overdose. Changes in metabolism can impact the way medication is absorbed, which can cause issues with how the body responds to the presence of opioids. Prescription drug misuse is more common for younger Americans but many people struggle.


When someone struggles with opioid intoxication, the severity of the issue will vary but people generally experience some of the same symptoms, including:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Heart rate shifts
  • Lack of alertness
  • Constricted pupils

Treatment of these symptoms requires emergency services to help because it will ensure the person is safe and not declining following intoxication. Naloxone may be used to prevent opioids from impacting the central nervous system. The doctor may also use oxygen support if breathing is affected. First responders, including nurses, police officers, and firefighters may also have naloxone in an emergency. Sometimes people who use opioids can get a prescription for emergencies in case of accidental overdose or intoxication.

Seeking Help

Aside from emergency help in a situation that calls for it, there are complications like using alcohol while taking opioids that may complicate a person’s need for help. It is important to be honest about all drug use and how it may interact with opioids. Complications may arise if opioids are mixed with alcohol, including low blood pressure, decreased heart rate, and lowered respiratory rate to the point a person stops breathing. The challenge for people who use two or more drugs at once is knowing the interactions. This can increase the risk of overdose and intoxication. For people who abuse drugs, there is help available with treatment in a licensed facility where they need to support a person getting what they need. This includes detox, psychological support, emotional support, counseling, and other help. With the right kind of help, people can get past addiction and start moving forward in recovery. Once they receive support following intoxication, the goal should be to check into treatment options and find out what will best help them navigate a journey of recovery from addiction.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Our goal is to provide you with the best support possible for recovery from addiction. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.