Drug Overdose (cont.)
Everyone who suffers an overdose needs to be seen by his or her doctor for follow-up. In part this is to ensure that there are no delayed injuries to any organ system. It is also to make sure that prevention against a recurrence is in place.
- After an intentional drug overdose has been managed and the person is out of danger, psychiatric care needs to be provided. The abuser of illicit drugs should also be considered for a mental health evaluation. Finding a support group for a psychiatric or substance abuse problem can be very helpful.
- For children, the experience of being treated for an overdose may have been frightening. They need help in coping with the trauma as well as learning from the mistake. Following up with their pediatrician can reduce anxiety and also be a good learning experience. The same is true for their parents. Do not point fingers or assign guilt. Use the follow-up visit to discuss prevention and safety.
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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