Boston Globe OP-ED on NARCAN: FEW DEATHS from heroin overdose happen alone. A friend or relative is often standing… read more...
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What is Narcan (naloxone)?
Narcan is a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose. It blocks opioids from attaching to opioid receptors in the brain.
Narcan is active for about 30 to 90 minutes in the body. If you give someone Narcan to reverse an opioid overdose, the Narcan may wear off before the effects of the opioids wear off. The person could overdose again. This depends on several things, including:
Because Narcan blocks opioids from acting in the brain, it is possible that it can cause withdrawal symptoms in someone that has a habit. After giving someone Narcan, the person may feel dope sick and want to use again right away. Do not let them use again for a couple of hours. If they use, they can overdose again once the Narcan wears off. If the person uses when there is still Narcan in the system, they will not feel it at all. Narcan will knock the drug out of the opioid receptors in the brain.
The generic name of Narcan is naloxone — they are the same thing. Narcan has no other effects and cannot be used to get high. Someone cannot overdose on Narcan. Narcan has no potential for abuse.