What do you think about Naloxone (Narcan)?

treatment

#1

Listened to this podcast this morning about Narcan and its effects on America’s opioid crisis.

The podcast gave lots of really useful information about the drug (Like, “Between 1996 and 2014, the CDC estimates that more than 26,000 overdoses were reversed by laypeople administering naloxone. Not medics, not doctors - ordinary people.”) and also presented conflicting perspectives on it’s benefits versus detriments (Like, “When it’s less risky to consume opioids because naloxone provides a safety net, we might see opioid abuse increase.”).

I’m curious to know your personal perspective? Any thoughts? Personal experience or success with Narcan?

:warning: WARNING: The podcast includes very sad stories and controversial opinions. Please listen with caution!


#2

Just found that Naloxone (Narcan) is available without a prescription in most states. CVS has a list here.


#3

I’m grateful to have the safety net in my bag. I don’t have a close loved one who I’d expect to need it these days. But I know there are times I would have felt a lot safer and less scared having it on me <3

Thanks for sharing @katie ! I hadn’t thought much about the idea that it might make use more prevalent. But I have heard some stories about people working in the space getting disillusioned when they’re using it multiple times with the same people living on the streets (heartbreaking.)

My view is that people addicted to opiates are not taking into consideration if it’s safe or not. I think the general understanding is that it is not. So I think in general - we should all have some! And hope we don’t have to use it but know that it could save a life one day.


#5

I agree that we should all think about having access to Narcan in our bags. Jane mentioned in this post on Fentanyl Testing Strips that unfortunately a lot of substances purchased off the streets are laced with Fentanyl. So, even if your loved one isn’t using opiates, there’s a chance we may all need it one day. Hopefully not! But it’s always a good idea to have an extra line of protection, I know I feel better having it on me, especially when I’m with my brother :slight_smile:


#4

Well, this is neat! “Emergent BioSolutions […] will provide a free kit including two doses of the nasal spray, as well as educational materials, to each of the 16,568 public libraries and 2,700 YMCAs in the U.S.” [From Time.com]


#6

I’m so happy this exists. If my son was allergic to bees I would carry an epipen around with me everywhere, and make sure he had one on him too. I think the same of Narcan. I’ve never used it but will certainly try and get some as well as find a Narcan training for me and my family!


#7

I wish this existed/I knew about it 7 years ago when my son started taking opiates to self medicate. It was such a scary time, and I would have felt much better if I knew about Narcan. Now that I do, it’s still helpful and would be worth having even though my son is opiate free for some time now. I understand how it can be seen as a safety net, but when we’re dealing with something as huge as the opioid crisis I’d rather be able to revive someone from an overdose versus wait for the ambulance to come.

I think it’s important to be able to work with the person after using Narcan, for us it is an insanely scary situation. But for our loved ones, they aren’t aware of what we go through during an overdose. If I get it I’ll make sure to explain to my family and especially my son why I got trained in using Narcan, and why I would use it and if I had to use it what we could all expect.

I’m wondering, from people who have personal experience or just know more, are there any tips you’d give to us concerned family and friends to have in mind regarding Narcan?


#8

I think its a lifesaver. It hurts to hear people say things against it.


#9

I think it’s safe to say addicts don’t think about Narcan when deciding to use … it throws the person into a painful withdrawal and is very unpleasant from what I’ve heard, but it is a definite lifesaver and I can’t think of any downsides to saving a person’s life.


#10

I should have added that I have used it on my son’s friend and keep some handy whenever my son is using.


#11

I believe that Narcan is an absolute necessity and everyone should have some. Narcan saved my partner’s life several years ago. Opiate addiction is such a huge and dangerous problem in our culture and you never know who might need it. It is my hope that narcan becomes a household essential and is kept in purses and bags and on people at all times. It saves lives, every day.

as @Ginny said above, it’s comparable to an EpiPen, in terms of how I view it. Ideally both would be commonly carried in case of emergency.


#12

I live in Alabama. This past year at a local End Heroin Bham Walk, they had a tent set up allowing civilians to register and get a 20 minute training demonstration on administering narcan. Once you went through the demonstration, they gave out, free of charge, little pouches that have 2 narca nasal pumps, instruction manual, etc in them. We also have monthly training meetings in surrounding areas for those of whom are interested in getting a narcan kit.

I absolutely think they’re so useful. My theory is, if using drugs, at least do so as safely as possible. So, if the fentanyl test trips were legalized I’d encourage my boyfriend to supply himself with some. He’s going to use either way. Until he reaches recovery. Why not create some peace of mind and responsibility in an irresponsible situation? That could perhaps save drug abusers lives? Even if it does provide a safety net, so to speak? Addicts don’t get clean bc their choices are dangerous and they realize they could lose their lives. The get clean bc of a whole jumble of reasonings. I don’t think having any resource to make using safer, is the end all to addicts getting on a road of recovery. In my opinion, it’s such a small aspect of a huge picture, that doesn’t majorly affect the big picture one way or the other.

I keep a narcan kit in my purse and one in our house at all time. His mom also has one with her. I think it’s remarkable that this small tiny tool could potentially save that 15 year old girl’s life who caved under peer pressure at a party or save that heroin addict that relapsed for the first time after being in recovery for awhile and used the same amount he did when he decided to finally get clean… not realizing his tolerance level isn’t as high anymore.