Knowing how to use a naloxone kit can save someone’s life in the event of an overdose. While naloxone doesn’t help with a stimulant or alcohol overdose, it is very effective in reversing the effects of opioids like heroin, methadone, opium, codeine, hydrocodone, and morphine.
A naloxone kit may also be labeled as “Narcan.” This is the same thing and can still be used to help with an overdose.
How to Use a Naloxone Rescue Kit
A naloxone rescue kit should be used as soon as you find an unresponsive person you suspect has overdosed on opioids. Read over these steps to familiarize yourself with how to use a naloxone rescue kit.
- Try to wake them up
Shake the person and shout their name to try and wake them up.
- Give them naloxone
Naloxone kits come in 3 different forms—a nasal spray, a nasal atomizer spray, and an injection.
Nasal Spray: Peel the package open and place the tip into one of their nostrils. Press the button firmly to release the dose.Nasal Atomizer Spray: Pull off the safety cap. Screw the 2 pieces together. Then, distribute half of the spray into each nostril.
Injection: Flip off the cap to reveal the latex seal on the top of the bottle. Turn the bottle upside down and pull the plunger on the syringe. Inject the medicine into a large muscle such as the shoulder, thigh, or buttocks. Make sure to push the plunger all the way down.
- Call 911 as soon as you administer the naloxone.
- Start CPR or rescue breaths.
Start to give the person CPR if you’re trained. If you don’t know how to do CPR, do rescue breathing. Tilt their head back, open their mouth, and pinch their nose. Give two breaths into their mouth to start. Then, give one breath every five seconds until help arrives.
- Give a second dose if the person does not wake up after 3 minutes.
- Continue CPR or rescue breaths until help arrives.
How Long Does Naloxone Last?
Naloxone works for about 30 to 90 minutes. After this amount of time, it begins to wear off. This is why it’s important to get emergency medical help for the person who overdosed, even if you’ve administered naloxone.
Naloxone quickly blocks the effects of an opioid overdose by blocking opioid receptors. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it is one of the most effective options for reversing opioid overdoses.
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