We’re All Here to Have Fun… But This Could Save a Life!

Using Narcan, also known as naloxone, can be a life-saving intervention in the case of an opioid overdose. It is essential to follow proper administration techniques to ensure an effective and timely response. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use Narcan.

Recognize the Signs of Opioid Overdose:

(Image by OASAS- New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports)

Before administering Narcan, it’s crucial to identify the signs of an opioid overdose. These may include unresponsiveness, slow or absent breathing, and pinpoint pupils.

  • Call for Emergency Assistance:

  • Dial emergency services immediately. Administering Narcan is not a substitute for professional medical help, and it’s essential to have paramedics on the way.

  • Ensure a Safe Environment:

  • Before approaching the individual, ensure the surrounding environment is safe. Look for any potential hazards and remove them to prevent injury during the administration of Narcan.

Prepare the Narcan Nasal Spray:

(Illustration by Mira Norian for Verywell Health)

  • Narcan is available in various forms, including a nasal spray. Follow the specific instructions provided with the product, but generally:

    • Remove the Narcan nasal spray from its packaging.

    • Hold the device with your thumb on the bottom of the plunger and two fingers on the nozzle.

  • Position the Person.

  • Lay the person on their back. Tilt their head backward to open the airway.

  • Administer the Narcan Nasal Spray:

    • Insert the nozzle into one nostril until your fingers touch the person’s nose.

    • Press the plunger firmly to release the dose of Narcan.

    • Administer half of the dose in one nostril and the remaining half in the other.

  • Administer Rescue Breaths:

  • After administering Narcan, give rescue breaths. If the person is not breathing or breathing very slowly:

    • Ensure the person’s airway is clear.

    • Give rescue breaths at a rate of one breath every 5-6 seconds.

  • Continue Monitoring:

  • Continue monitoring the person’s breathing and other vital signs until emergency medical help arrives. If the person does not respond or stops breathing again, you may administer another dose of Narcan after 2-3 minutes.

  • Follow Up with Emergency Services:

  • Even if the person starts to respond to Narcan, it’s crucial to let emergency services take over once they arrive. They can provide additional medical care and address any underlying issues.

  • Dispose of Used Equipment Safely.

  • Dispose of any used Narcan devices or packaging according to local guidelines. Some areas have specific disposal procedures for these types of medical supplies.

Remember that Narcan is not a substitute for professional medical care. Its primary purpose is to buy time until emergency services can take over. It is crucial to encourage individuals who have administered Narcan to seek medical attention for the person experiencing the overdose. Additionally, some jurisdictions have laws allowing for the distribution of Narcan to laypeople, so becoming familiar with your local regulations is important.

Most importantly remember to always have fun, live life to the fullest, and never forget you are loved and needed on this earth. Make smart decisions and look out for one another!

(illustration by myself, of myself)

– Abigail Young

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