Overdose is a very frightening reality for many people who struggle with addiction. In fact, the rate of opioid overdose deaths continues to increase in Nevada and around the country. When medical professionals face situations of opioid overdoses, they have one saving grace: a Narcan kit. Narcan is a medication that is proven to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, which often gives patients a second chance at life.
Interestingly, it isn’t just doctors and EMTs who can own a Narcan kit—anybody can buy Narcan for household use when needed. However, there are important steps to keep in mind when administering Narcan. Below, we’ll walk you through how to get a Narcan kit, how to use Narcan in life-threatening situations, and how to protect yourself and others from any further drug-related harm.
What Does Narcan Do?
The opioid epidemic is something that continues to tear through the United States. With the risks of long-lasting effects, serious illnesses, or even death that come with opioid addiction, experts began producing naloxone kits. Narcan, otherwise known as naloxone, is a medication that is specifically utilized in urgent cases of opioid overdose.
Narcan is a type of safety net that can reverse the threatening symptoms of an opioid overdose. When given in the form of a spray or injection, Narcan stops the most fatal side effects of overdose, which include loss of consciousness and changes in breathing patterns. Narcan typically begins to work within minutes of it being given to the person who is overdosing.
Medical professionals and even law enforcement agents frequently receive naloxone training so that they can help those in need. But you do not have to be in these occupations to know how to use Narcan.
How Do You Buy and Use Narcan in Nevada?
Purchasing a Narcan kit for yourself is quite easy to do, though it does come at a steep price. Drugstores that carry other over-the-counter medications will most likely have Narcan kits available for you to purchase—no prescription needed. In fact, some states offer free Narcan kits to people who sign up for training on how to properly administer it.
The type of Narcan kit you will find in a drugstore typically looks like a nasal spray, but it can also come in the form of a atomizer spray or injection. If you do ever need to use Narcan in an emergency situation, be sure to review the instructions carefully ahead of time. To prepare, you can expect to follow these steps:
- Check to see if the person is breathing and conscious. If they are non-responsive, get ready to administer the Narcan kit and contact medical professionals right away.
- Next, follow the specific directions of the Narcan kit you have in your possession. This means either inserting the tip of the spray into the nostril(s) or injecting the shot into a large muscle area.
- Release the medication by either pressing the button on the spray or by pressing the plunger of the injection down until all of the medication is gone.
- Assess once again whether or not the person is breathing or conscious. If they are not and you are certified in using CPR, begin the resuscitation process.
- If the person becomes alert again, stay with them until help arrives. Consider rotating them onto their side, if possible, to keep their airways clear.
- If the person is still unconscious, administer a second dose of Narcan after three minutes and repeat the steps above.
On average, the effects of Narcan last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. During this period of time, it’s essential that the person overdosing receive intensive medical attention in the event that the drugs remain in their system longer than the naloxone. This could restart the overdose symptoms and put the person at risk of death once again.
What Comes After Narcan?
The most common side effect of naloxone nasal spray as well as the injection is withdrawal. Since Narcan stops the effects of opioids from reaching the brain and spreading throughout the body, the person may begin to have withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms range depending on their specific situation as well as the level of their addiction. Withdrawal symptoms, such as vomiting, hallucinations, and fever can be just as dangerous as overdosing in the first place. This emphasizes the urgency of receiving medical attention even after using the Narcan kit.
Additionally, one of the most important things to note about using a Narcan kit is that you cannot administer it on yourself. Opioid overdose symptoms include painful or labored breathing and loss of consciousness. If you are experiencing an overdose, you might not have the awareness or ability to save yourself by using Narcan.
Furthermore, Narcan is not 100 percent effective. While the success rates of non-medical professionals administering a naloxone kit to somebody who is overdosing on opioids are very promising, it is simply not safe to rely on Narcan to save you from a life-threatening overdose. In emergency situations, having a Narcan kit on hand can save somebody’s life. In the long run, the only true way to protect yourself or loved ones from an opioid overdose is to receive treatment for addiction.
Take on Recovery at the Vance Johnson Recovery Center
Treatment at the Vance Johnson Recovery Center is proactive, meaning that you can build your own sobriety kit with every resource you need to get and stay sober. Some of the effective treatment options we provide include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- 12-step recovery
- Individual and group therapies
- Chronic pain treatment
- And so much more
Do you have more questions about Narcan and your own chances for recovering from opioid addiction? We are here to help you find the answers. Reach out to us at 888-828-2623 or submit a confidential contact form for further information on how to keep yourself safe, healthy, and happy.
Narcan is a brand name for the medication called naloxone, which health care professionals typically administer to patients who are suffering from an opioid overdose. A naloxone kit is something that medical experts use, but it is also available in small doses to the general public.
Narcan is available for public purchases at participating drug stores. You do not need a prescription to purchase Narcan. As an over-the-counter medication, Narcan typically comes in the form of nasal spray.
The cost of Narcan usually depends on where you purchase it. Most commonly, the Narcan price ranges from $100 to $200 per dose. If you are wondering how to get a Narcan kit, check with your local drugstores, your physician, and residential treatment centers for more information on how to obtain this medication and how to use Narcan properly.
Located in dynamic Las Vegas, Nevada, the Vance Johnson Recovery Center (VJRC) a 44-bed facility is run by a skilled multi-disciplinary team of medical and behavioral health professionals that includes nurses, counselors, and doctors, along with complementary and alternative medicine specialists to provide our clients with a transformational experience that encompasses mind, body, and spirit. Our approach is holistic and grounded in research and evidenced-based best practices that help people develop the awareness and skills required to achieve and sustain recovery.