Opioids are dangerous drugs that attach to opiate receptors in the brain, depressing the central nervous system and producing a calming effect. When an overdose occurs, a person can become unresponsive as their opioid receptors overflow. Symptoms of overdose include contracted pupils, shallow breathing, loss of consciousness, choking sounds, and pale or blue skin.1 If you see signs of overdose, it’s important to know how to use Narcan, aka naloxone, so you can reverse the person’s overdose.
An overdose can happen quickly, and its deadly effects can progress within minutes. Naloxone is a life-saving nasal spray or injection that reverses the effects of opioids by pushing opioids out of the opiate receptors in the brain, reviving an individual from an overdose. Typically, Narcan takes effect within minutes. There are several ways to administer Narcan; we outline the most popular methods below.
How to administer nasal spray Narcan:
Nasal Narcan is not the only form of this lifesaving drug that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose. There is also an injectable form of the counteractive drug that many people use; it’s a Narcan injection that comes with different Narcan usage guides.
How to administer injectable naloxone:
If someone has overdosed, you always need to call 911. Narcan can help revive a person while waiting for paramedics to arrive, but they will need additional medical attention. Narcan uses are focused on reviving patients from deadly overdose symptoms, but often, additional medical attention is needed after naloxone administration to ensure the patient has safely recovered.
Once administered, Narcan’s effects can wear off within 30 – 90 minutes, so if the overdosing person has ingested a large number of opioids, they may need a second dose of Narcan to continue counteracting the effects of overdose.2 Calling 911 after administering the first round of naloxone can help ensure the overdosing individual gets the help they need.
So, what happens if Narcan is given to someone who doesn’t need it? What if a sober person is accidentally administered naloxone? The drug only works to reverse the effects of opioids and opioid overdose, so it will not have an effect on someone who is sober.2
Narcan is a lifesaving tool to help reverse the effects of opioid overdose, but it is no substitute for sobriety. Patients who have been revived with Narcan need drug detox and rehab to turn their lives around. We offer suboxone detoxification in Stuart to help people break free of their opioid addiction. Narcan alone cannot help someone get sober. If you need help getting sober, or if you have a loved one who needs help, call us today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our drug detoxification in Stuart. With our opiate detox and treatment programs, sobriety is possible.