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How to recognize and what to do in an intoxication situation?Information for parents and health proffesionals Carlos Bauche (volunteer) Kunphen Center For Substance Abuse
What is an Intoxication? • Any consumption that alters the body functions and psychological performance of the user. • Is getting drunk an intoxication? • Is getting stunned an intoxication?
Hallucinogens Intoxication: • It’s not very common, and it’s strange if it happens without the presence of other substance like alcohol, cannabis or speed. • It’s generally constituted by panic atacks (bad trips): anxiety, depresion, mental confusion and visual hallucinations. There could be also some feelings of being uncapable, guilt, loss of self control, agression, and risk of suicide.
Hallucinogens • What to do: Isolate the person in a quit place, with few stimuli, medium light and maybe some soft music. IT’s good to have somebody to calm him. Explain what could be happening to him and remind him that it is temporary and it will pass soon. Calm down if they think they are going to be like that forever. Take it to a hospital if possible for further examinations.
Marihuana Intoxication: • It’s donde via the inhaling paths while smoking ( it can be mixed with tobacco. There can be conjuntival redness and taquicardia. Mouth and throat dryness, slightly low temperature, reduction on muscle control and coordination. The senses and sensations are more accute and there is an alteration of the time and space memory performance. • There is a difficulty while performing concrete activities and the reaction times become slow. After some euphoric effects (laughter) there is somnolence.
Marihuana • There can be panic and anxiety attacks, paranoid ideation, hallucinations and even despersonalization crisis. • What to do?: • Calm down the person. Look for a safe and isolated environment. Pick up information about all the other possible substances he might have taken. Do not allow complex activities like driving or jumping fences or roofs. If the crisis is severe or there are psychiatric alterations, is better to take him/her to the hospital.
Stimmulants (cocaine, amphetamines, MDMA, etc. Intoxication: • Is frequent. Most of the cases are by smoking or inhaling. Some are intrablood. • The symptoms are wide, but they tend to be excitation and hyperactivity, confusion and agitation, and sometimes violent. The degree of anxiety and panic is high . They swet a lot, have high heart rate frequency (as well as arteries tension). They could have taquicardia, toracic pain, midriasis (abnormal pupil dilatation and iris inmovility),sometimes nausea, vomits and diarrhea. They could have headeches, but they notice one someone asks them about it.
Feelings of been prosecuted, loss of control. Visual, tactile and audio hallucinations, without loosing the sense orientation. • Ther can be convulsions, cardiac arritmia, coronary ischemia (a negative umbalance between the energy supply and the blood demand in the heart) and brain strokes. • What to do?: • Be very cautious . Approach slowly, calmed and quiet. Avoid having quick movements or a menacing look in your face, using a serene and never authoritarian voice tone. • Do not increase the anguish. You can recognize it the effect is comming down if you see more tranquility or even a mild depression. If the person is too violent sometimes is necessary to use the force to grab him/her and take him to a hospital.
¿Is Your Friend O.K.?Glasgow Coma Scale • The GCS is scored between 3 and 15, 3 being the worst score, and 15 the best. It is composed of three parts: Best Eye Response, Best Verbal Response, Best Motor Response, as shown. • When doing a neuro assessment it is important to watch for trends indicating a decreasing LOC. • Keep in mind that when patients have ingested alcohol, mind altering drugs, have hypoglycemia or shock with a systolic BP <80, the GCS may be invalid.
¿Is Your Friend O.K.?Glasgow Coma Scale • Important note, charting 'GCS 9' means nothing, it is important to break the figure down into its components, such as E3V3M3 = GCS 9. A Coma Score of 13 or higher indicates a possible mild brain injury, 9 to 12 is a moderate injury and 8 or less a severe brain injury.