How Overdoses Happen

A person who uses opioids on a regular basis can develop a tolerance, feeling like they need to take more in order to feel “normal.” Too much of an opioid—which varies based on the individual and the drug formulation—depresses the central nervous system. This slows the breathing to the point that vital organs begin to shut down. If an overdose is not reversed in time with naloxone or Narcan, a person’s body will simply shut down and breathing will stop.