Narcan: How to use the life-saving anti-overdose drug

Surgeon General issues rare advisory to fight ODs
Posted at 1:41 PM, Apr 07, 2018

It’s a move the surgeon general hasn’t taken in thirteen years — issue an official advisory. The last time was in 2005, and it concerned pregnant women and alcohol. 

But on Thursday, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams announced a new advisory regarding Naloxone, the drug that combats an opioid overdose and encouraged more people to carry it with them for themselves or others. 

According to the Surgeon General’s release, “Knowing how to use naloxone and keeping it within reach can save a life.”

And administering Naloxone — Narcan is the most common name brand — is actually relatively simple, doctors say.

Aaron Wolfe is an emergency room doctor at Presbyterian/St. Lukes Medical Center in Denver and likens it to using an Epi-pen for allergic reactions — except this is even easier.

“You don’t even have to worry about needles or somebody being stuck,” Wolfe said.

“When people are close to death from opioids it usually stops their breathing, so this drug will reverse that,” Wolfe added. “It’ll make them be able to breathe again regain full consciousness.”

All you have to do is spray the drug into a person’s nostril. They do not have to inhale.

Most pharmacies carry the drug. In 46 states, you don’t even need a prescription to obtain it. If you have insurance, it’s usually covered, but if you don’t it’ll cost around $100 to $150.