Narcan (naloxone)

Narcan nasal spray laid over a circular lime green background.

What is Narcan?

Narcan (or naloxone) is a medication that quickly reverses opioid overdoses, including ones from fentanyl. Narcan is sprayed up the nose, or injected into the muscle, and it knocks the opioids off brain receptors, restoring normal breathing, saving lives

Narcan has nearly no side effects and will only work if a person has opioids in their system. It’s totally safe.

Why Carry It?

Anybody using drugs could be at risk for an overdose. If you, your friends, or loved ones use drugs, or take prescription opioid medications, Narcan is the medicine that can reverse an overdose. Carrying Narcan does not increase drug use, it only saves the lives of those who could overdose on drugs. 

When and How to use it?

You should give Narcan to anyone who may be overdosing. If you think someone is overdosing, first check to see if they are responsive. Try vigorously rubbing your knuckles along their sternum (the bone in the middle of the chest). If they do not respond, call 911. If you have Narcan, say “I am going to Narcan you”, and give the dose by inserting the nozzle into one side of the nose and using your thumb to press the plunger firmly.

Injectable Naloxone

Naloxone also exists in an injectable form. 

How to Get It?

There are many ways to get Narcan in the community:

  • Anyone, even teenagers, can ask a pharmacist to prescribe Narcan. Most insurance companies cover the medication (but may charge a copay). Oregon Health Plan (OHP) provides Narcan free at the pharmacy. If you need Narcan, ask to speak with a pharmacist and explain that you or someone you know is at risk of overdose and that Narcan will help save a life. Oregon law states that a pharmacist should provide Narcan when asked.
  • The FDA has recently approved Narcan to be sold over the counter, and this site will be updated as more information becomes available. 
  • You can request free naloxone from NEXT Distro. 
  • You may also get Narcan from the Benton County Harm Reduction Program at harm.reduction@co.benton.or.us or (541) 766-6314. 

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