Narcan Nasal Spray is a powerful tool for first responders, friends, family members and caregivers to help counteract life-threatening overdose from prescription pain medicines or illegal drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. Collectively referred to as “opioids,” these drugs can slow people’s breathing enough that the brain becomes starved of oxygen, resulting in brain damage, organ failure, and potentially death. Narcan, also known as naloxone, is a prescription medicine that blocks the effects of opioids, so can improve breathing and alertness in affected individuals.
Because most accidental opioid overdoses occur in homes, the nasal spray formulation of naloxone was designed so that it can be administered by anyone with no medical training. Given the urgent need to address suspected overdose as soon as possible to reduce risk of brain damage, anyone with an opioid prescription is strongly encouraged to ask their physician for a Narcan prescription to keep in their medicine cabinet.
To date, Narcan Nasal Spray, made available to first responders through a federal grant received by the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, has saved the life of someone overdosing on opioids at least 911 times since 2016. To view how Narcan saved the life of a toddler who accidentally overdosed on a family member’s prescription pain medicine, please click on the video below.