Learn the facts about Naloxone and how it is helping to save many lives from opioid drug overdose…
Overdose deaths from heroin and opioid painkillers have been steadily increasing every year in America. This has prompted many healthcare workers to get the word out about life-saving options, including Naloxone.
Naloxone (Narcan) is used in opioid overdoses to counteract life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system, allowing an overdose victim to breathe normally. Naloxone is a nonscheduled (i.e., non-addictive), prescription medication. Naloxone only works if a person has opioids in their system; the medication has no effect if opioids are absent. Although traditionally administered by emergency response personnel, Naloxone can be administered by minimally trained laypeople, which makes it ideal for treating overdose in people who have been prescribed opioid pain medication and in people who use heroin and other opioids. Naloxone has no potential for abuse. Naloxone may be injected in the muscle, vein or under the skin or sprayed into the nose.
What are the signs of an opiate overdose so I know to administer Naloxone?
• May be awake but unable to talk
• Limp body
• Pale face and clammy skin
• Fingernails and lips are blue or purplish black
• Skin tone changes – Lighter skinned people turn bluish purple and darker skinned people turn gray or ashen.
• Breathing is very slow and shallow or may have stopped completely
• Pulse is slow or unable to be detected
• Choking sounds or gurgling noises
• Unresponsive to outside noise, talking, television, traffic, etc.
Traditionally, only doctors prescribed Naloxone but this privilege has now been extended to pharmacist or trained outreach workers operating under a doctor’s standing order. In 19 states, CVS offers it without a prescription. More than half of all Walgreen’s stores sell Naloxone over the counter without a prescription. And of course, it can be ordered on line.
The good news – you cannot hurt an individual by giving Naloxone if they by chance did not have an opiate overdose. Again, it only works if opiates are in an individual’s system. For more information on drug addiction and medical detox, please contact Victory Detox at (800) 906-1629.