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NARCAN: YOUR POCKET OPIOID OVERDOSE LIFESAVER

Updated: Nov 14, 2023




Narcan (naloxone): a name that might not be household familiar but is a critical companion in the fight against opioid overdoses. Let’s delve into understanding what this medicine is, why it’s crucial, and how to use it effectively, all in straightforward terms.

What is Naloxone?

Purpose: Naloxone is a medicine formulated to reverse opioid overdoses and could potentially save a life.

Forms Available: It’s available as an injectable solution or a nasal spray, like the brand Narcan.

Accessibility: Where to Get It?

Prescription-Free in Some Areas: Naloxone might be available without prescription at local pharmacies in some regions.

Prescription-Needed Areas: In other locales, a prescription may be necessary.

Alternative Sources: Substance use treatment centers and safe injection sites might also provide naloxone.

Recognizing an Opioid Overdose: Know When to Use Naloxone

If an individual is exhibiting the following signs, they may be experiencing an overdose:

Non-responsive to voice or physical shaking

Exhibiting slow, or no breathing, sometimes accompanied by snoring or gurgling sounds

Blue lips or fingernails

Significantly small pupils

Immediate Steps: What to Do in Case of an Overdose

Call for Emergency Help: Dial 9-1-1 straight away and provide all pertinent details.

Administer Naloxone: Use the nasal spray or injection, following the instructions closely.

Perform Life-Saving Techniques: Begin rescue breathing or chest compressions as needed and wait for professional help.

Provide Continuous Support: Stay with the person and be prepared to administer additional naloxone doses if necessary.

Detailed Usage: How to Administer Naloxone

Nasal Spray: Pre-packaged versions are simply positioned and deployed into one nostril.

Syringe variants involve assembling the spray, distributing half of the dose into each nostril.

Injection:

Regular injection: Measure 1 mL of naloxone, then inject into a large muscle (like the thigh).

Prefilled syringe: Insert into the thigh muscle, press until a click is heard, hold, and then remove.

After naloxone administration, assist with breathing and stay with the individual, as repeated doses may be needed.

Key Points to Remember

Duration: Naloxone acts for 30 to 90 minutes, but opioids can linger longer, making monitoring essential.

Further Care is Necessary: Even after naloxone administration and revival, medical care is crucial.

Be Prepared: If you keep naloxone at home, familiarize yourself with its usage and storage details ahead of time.

For a deeper dive into naloxone and its administration, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at: www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/naloxone.

Navigating through the territory of opioid use and overdoses can be treacherous, but having naloxone and knowing how to use it becomes our beacon in these dark times. By understanding, sharing this knowledge, and being prepared, we become a community that’s empowered to save lives. Let’s keep the conversation and learning going, for a safer tomorrow.

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martinienjuju
Dec 20, 2023

Cool

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