What's Narcan?

Narcan (also known as Naloxone) is an opioid-overdose medication. Narcan works by blocking opioids from the brain, and restores the patient's ability to breathe. You can inject Narcan or spray it into the nasal cavity. It is also useful in emergencies to save lives. Narcan is sometimes called the "antidote to" opioid overdoses. As the opioid crisis continues to decimate communities all across America, Narcan is becoming more popular. Narcan can be purchased at most pharmacies and first responders are increasingly carrying Narcan when they answer calls. Narcan can be purchased without prescription in some states.

Narcan's purported benefits

Narcan's primary advantage is its ability save lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have credited Narcan with saving thousands of people each year. Narcan is able to save lives and reduce hospitalizations due to overdose. Narcan can also help to reduce stigma around opioid overdoses and use disorder. Narcan can be made more readily available to help reduce stigma around opioid abuse and increase access for people who are seeking treatment. Narcan is able to reduce both the fiscal and financial costs of overdosing on healthcare systems as well as taxpayers. Narcan's cost is low and can be used to prevent costly hospitalizations and other costs related to opioid overdoses.

Expert Opinions on Narcan

Experts are unanimous in their belief that Narcan can be a valuable tool to fight the opioid crisis. Marc Fishman is an addiction psychiatrist from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and believes Narcan can save lives and avoid tragic consequences. Fishman says that Narcan is the only tool we have for dealing with the opioid epidemic. Narcan can help prevent deaths and offer people the chance of recovery. Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore City health commissioner and President of Planned Parenthood agrees Narcan is a vital tool to fight the opioid epidemic. It should be available for anyone, no matter if they are a patient or not. She stated that Narcan should be accessible to everyone who requires it. It is important to eliminate any obstacles that might prevent patients from having access to this vital medication.

Narcan: How do you get started?

First, dial 911 if you suspect someone is suffering from an opioid overdose. If Narcan is not available, then you can call 911. There are two options for Narcan: an injection or a nasal spray. Nasal sprays are easier and more convenient to use. The dosage of Narcan recommended depends on how large and heavy the individual is. It is generally recommended that you start off with two milligrams of Narcan. Then, increase the dose by taking 2 mg every two or three minutes until your body starts to function normally. Although Narcan can be purchased at most pharmacies, insurance may not cover it. Narcan can be purchased without prescription in some states. First responders are increasingly required to have Narcan on hand when they answer calls.

Do you need to be aware of any side effects or drawbacks?

Although Narcan can be considered to be safe and effective in general, there may still be side effects. They include vomiting, nausea, sweating and confusion. Narcan can also cause withdrawal symptoms such as Anxiety, shaking and agitation. Not treating the root cause of overdose with Narcan is not an option. Narcan is intended to temporarily relieve symptoms and should always be followed-up with medical attention. You should never use Narcan as a replacement for professional treatment.


The opioid crisis is being tackled with Narcan, a powerful tool. Narcan can help save lives, and decrease the hospitalizations due to overdoses. Narcan is readily available at pharmacies and first responders are increasingly carrying it with them on the road to responding to emergencies. Although Narcan can be considered to be safe and effective, there may still be side effects. Narcan, a powerful drug that has the potential to save lives, should always be readily accessible for those in need..