One of the frightening things that is happening with teenagers overdosing on prescription pills is that when a teen overdoses their friends are so afraid of getting caught with drugs or getting in trouble that they don't call 911. There are good samaritan laws being passed so that young people don't have to worry about getting in trouble if they report an overdose. New York just passed such a law.
People need to know the dangers of overdosing. When someone overdoses on an opiate it shuts down their respiratory system but this happens gradually. There is usually time to get help. One of the problems is that people do the wrong things. They leave their friend alone to "sleep it off", or they try to throw cold water on them, or yell at them. I have read about teens who have left a friend on the side of the road to die alone rather than risk getting into trouble themselves. Even adults have neglected to get medical services involved because of the fear that they themselves or their child will be prosecuted. It is crucial that the person gets immediate medical attention. In half of the cases of drug overdoses no one called 911 and a life could have been saved. Teenagers as well as parents need to be taught how to recognize an overdose and what they should do if they are in the presence of someone who overdoses.