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Previous Non-Fatal Overdose


If a person has ever had a nonfatal overdose in the past, this increases the risk of a fatal overdose in the future. This is because people who have overdosed before may have drug use patterns that put them at risk for an overdose in the future. In addition, experiencing a nonfatal overdose may cause damage to the body even if the person survives the overdose. One study found that people who had experienced a non-fatal overdose experienced other harms, including: physical injury sustained when falling at overdose, burns, assault while unconscious, peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage, numbness/tingling), vomiting, temporary paralysis of limbs, chest infections and seizure.[1]

Prevention Tips:

  • Always use with a friend or around other people
  • Use less at first, especially if you are using a new product
  • Make an overdose plan with friends or drug partners
Next Section: Recognizing Opioid Overdose


[1] Warner-Smith M, Darke S, Day C. Morbidity associated with non-fatal heroin overdose. Addiction. 2002 Aug; 97(8):963-7.


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