At Duke City Recovery Toolbox in Albuquerque, New Mexico, every participant receiving medication-assisted treatment will also receive a prescription for Narcan. Narcan is sometimes misjudged as a drug that makes using opioids okay. That is not the case at all. Narcan is a life-saving drug that can stop an overdose so that our participants can live to see another day, another opportunity to continue their recovery process.
What Is Narcan and How Does It Work?
Narcan is an opioid antagonist—it counters the effects of opioids by stripping opioid compounds from the receptor sites.
What to Know When Administering Narcan
Here’s what you need to know about Narcan:
- Narcan can (usually) reverse an opioid overdose within three to five minutes.
- Friends and family members should be trained to use Narcan.
- Narcan only works on opioids. If administered to someone overdosing on something other than opioids, it will have no effect. That means if you are not sure what is causing an overdose, administering Narcan will not make the situation worse.
- The effects of Narcan last for about 30 minutes. That means that the overdose can recur once the dose of Narcan has worn off. You may need to administer a second shot.
To prevent fatal overdose, participants need more than a supply of Narcan. You must:
- Always take your medications in the presence of other so that if an overdose occurs, someone is there to help you.
- Ensure the people around you when taking your medication know where your Narcan is stored and are trained to administer it.
Routine doses of methadone should not cause overdose. However, if you are taking other medications or combining methadone with other sedatives or uppers, overdose is possible.
Whenever Narcan has been administered, you should seek medical treatment from your primary care provider, emergency or urgent care center or our Albuquerque clinic.