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What is Narcan?



Narcan is the brand name for Naloxone. It’s an emergency treatment for opioid overdoses. 

Narcan blocks the effects of opioids and can reverse an overdose. 

It’s safe to use on someone having an overdose, even if you aren’t sure what kind of drug was taken. With naloxone, there is no way to overdose.


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Narcan is the brand name for Naloxone

Narcan is the brand name for Naloxone. Naloxone is a safe and effective drug that reverses an \opioid overdose by blocking the effects of opioids on your brain and nervous system. 

It’s available as an injection or nasal spray, making it convenient in emergencies when someone is overdosing.

In addition to being easy to administer, Narcan can be used whether you’re with a loved one at home or out in public:

  • Injectable Narcan: Administering this form of Narcan requires training and skill (such as CPR), but it doesn’t require any special equipment other than needles and syringes. If you have access to these supplies, then injecting someone who has overdosed with this form of Narcan is relatively straightforward; however, if you don’t know how to use them safely without harming yourself or others nearby then we recommend using another method instead.”


Narcan is safe to use on someone having an overdose, even if you aren't sure what kind of drug was taken

Narcan is safe to use on someone having an overdose, even if you aren’t sure what kind of drug was taken. 

If you are not sure what drug was taken, Narcan will not harm the person and it may save their life.

If you know that your friend has overdosed on opioids or heroin, but are not sure which exact opioid they used (OxyContin vs heroin vs fentanyl), then giving them Narcan should be fine. 

However, if there is any chance that your friend took a hallucinogenic drug like LSD or PCP along with the opioids/heroin (which can happen), then we recommend waiting for medical professionals who know how to treat those kinds of overdoses before using naloxone.

Narcan works by restoring normal breathing in a person who has stopped breathing due to an opioid overdose (particularly heroin). 

This can be done by administering a nasal spray or injection into a muscle or vein. If you see someone who has overdosed, call 911 and then administer Narcan as soon as possible!


With naloxone, there is no way to overdose

You might be thinking, “but what if I don’t know exactly what kind of drug was taken?” That’s a good question. 

If you’re not sure what kind of drug was taken, there is no harm in using Narcan because naloxone is not addictive and does not cause an overdose. 

It’s also safe to use on someone who has overdosed even if you aren’t sure if it was heroin or cocaine. 

However, if you know that the person has been using heroin, then it would be best to administer the dose according to their weight (to prevent administering too much or too little).


With naloxone, there is no way for someone to overdose again after receiving naloxone because it reverses the effects of opioids within minutes by blocking them from attaching themselves to receptors in the brain and body; 

therefore, preventing further absorption into these receptors which would lead to death due to respiratory depression caused by opioid overdose/intoxication.


- How does Narcan work?

Narcan works by blocking the effects of opioids on receptors in your brain: It doesn’t give you any more pain relief but stops what opioids would have done to you if they were still in your system (like slowing down breathing). 

This means that Narcan will only work if someone has taken opioids within the last 12 hours; 

otherwise, it won’t be effective at reversing an overdose because there aren’t enough opioids left in their system for Narcan to bind with them.

It’s important to know that naloxone has a short half-life, so it will wear off after 30 to 90 minutes. 

The effects of the opioid will start again, which means someone who has been given naloxone should go to the hospital immediately after being administered the drug.


Some people have had bad experiences with naloxone

Unfortunately, some people have had bad experiences with naloxone because they were given it too late or were not given enough doses after taking stronger opioids such as Fentanyl. 

Due to this, naloxone is sometimes injected more than once into the body – usually through an IV drip 

– with each dose lasting approximately 30 minutes before another dose must be given again.

Naloxone has a short half-life and therefore needs to be injected frequently for it to work effectively. 

This is why IV fluid drips are used for multiple doses of naloxone; this allows more time between injections so that patients don’t overdose on the first shot. 

However, even if someone does overdose on heroin (or any other opioid) and receives multiple shots of naloxone within an hour or so of their last use, it’s important not to think that these drugs will completely cure them from addiction once and for all; 

rather this treatment should be considered temporary until you can find out how best to help yourself or your loved ones overcome their substance use disorder.


Knowing what Narcan has done and can do will help you save lives

The first step in being able to save a life is knowing what Narcan can do, and how important it is to have it on hand. 

Narcan is a safe and easy way to save lives from an opioid overdose, but it can also help you prevent anyone from dying because of their addiction.

Narcan is not addictive, so if you use it correctly and don’t overdose on opioids yourself, there are no side effects or consequences of using the drug. 

But that doesn’t mean that administering Narcan isn’t serious business

—it’s just as important as calling 911 when someone has overdosed on heroin or another opioid drug!

Narcan won’t work every time either—there’s no cure for opioid addiction yet (except abstinence), but with proper training on how to use this lifesaving treatment, we may be able to cut down on some deaths every year.



We hope this article was informative and helpful. 

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading!


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