The active ingredient in NARCAN is naloxone. What is NARCAN that makes it a significant player in today’s opioid crisis discussion? Experts call it the opiate antidote. Do you know how to use it?
What is NARCAN?
Manufacturer ADAPT Pharma, Inc. describes it as the only emergency treatment for an opioid overdose that has FDA approval. Use is surprisingly easy. A dose consists of a 4mg nasal spray. Keep the bottle in your purse or the car’s glove compartment.
At this time, you can buy it over the counter in the majority of states. CVS and Walgreens stock the medication. Although a bit pricey without insurance, you can buy it at discounted rates with health coverage. Some groups are working to make it available free to the public.
How and When to Use the Nasal Spray
The dispenser keeps the drug in a ready-to-use state. Remove the cap, and position the nozzle near an opioid overdose victim’s nostril. Press the plunger. The mist expels from the nozzle.
The medication now travels to the brain and seeks out opioid receptor sites. Because the substance is a better fit, it can displace opioid molecules. As a result, you’re able to reverse an overdose reaction on a temporary basis. As such, it’s a life-saving device.
But what is NARCAN if not a spot fix? It can’t take the place of a call to first responders. Even if you or your loved one responds well to the drug, remember that the results are only temporary. Getting emergency medical help is vital to provide your loved one with the best possible outcome.
Use the nasal spray when you know that someone who takes opioids is going into respiratory distress. Another application is the moment you realize that you or someone else accidentally overdosed. You may have taken a dose twice or mixed it unintentionally with benzodiazepine drugs.
A False Sense of Safety?
NARCAN isn’t a replacement for a medical drug detox program. If you’re struggling with addiction to opioid painkillers, the nasal spray won’t protect you from the effects of substance abuse. You’re still at risk of overdosing, suffering health problems, or “graduating” to heroin abuse. All that the medication accomplishes is potentially saving your life when you overdose.
To ensure that the life-threatening condition doesn’t repeat itself, you need to quit using. A medical detox facility can make the process safe and comfortable. Typically, you undergo treatments such as:
- Behavioral therapy, which helps you to set goals for rehab after detox
- Group therapy sessions that introduce you to the 12 Step model of recovery
- Family therapy as an opportunity to enlist the help of loved ones in your efforts to quit using
- Medical monitoring and medication management to keep you pain-free
- Psychotherapy, which enables you to understand what made drug abuse so attractive
What is NARCAN use if not a wake-up call that you’re jeopardizing your life with a drug addiction? Get help today. At Serenity House Detox & Recovery, caring therapists routinely work with people just like you. Call 866-294-5306 today get free of opioid addiction and possibly overdose.