Importance of Narcan


Narcan (generic name: naloxone), is a prescription medication used for the treatment of opioid overdose or a suspected opioid overdose. This medication may partially or completely reverse an opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist, meaning that it blocks certain receptors in the body which opioids usually bind to.

Narcan can come in the form of a nasal spray. To administer, insert the nozzle into one nostril and firmly press the plunger to give the dose of medication. If needed, another dose of Narcan can be administered into the alternate nostril. 

If taking opioid medications, in case of emergencies a prescription of narcan should always be close by. It promotes opioid safety and can be useful for potentially harmful medication interactions causing overdose. 

Narcan administered to someone not overdosing is not harmful and will have no effect.  


Common signs of opioid overdose:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe fatigue
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Small pupils
  • Blue lips, fingernails, and skin
  • Unconsciousness
  • Slow pulse
  • Vomiting


Common causes of opioid overdose:

  • Opioids used in combination with certain sleeping and anxiety medications (benzodiazepines)
  • Opioids used in combination with alcohol
  • Using prescription opioids without medical supervision
  • Taking a high dosage of opioid medication
  • Taking illegal/synthetic opioids 

    • Pills can be made to look like prescription opioids & sold illegally on the street.
    • These are highly dangerous because each dose could be different, unknown ingredients may be added to the drug, and these drugs may be much stronger than prescription opioids. 

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