What is naloxone and who can administer it?

by Jackson Bonetti, on Mar 3, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Naloxone (pronounced na-LOX-own, also known by the brand name Narcan) is a drug that can reverse the effects of opioids. When a person overdoses on an opioid their breathing can slow or stop completely leading to death. Naloxone can be used to help a person who is overdosing breath normally and regain consciousness. It does this by binding to the opioid receptors in your brain and prevents and reverses the intake of opioids.

Opioids commonly abused include:

  • fentanyl
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  • heroin
  • methadone
  • oxycodone

In 2016, there were 2458 apparent opioid related deaths in Canada, that is a death rate of almost 9 per 100,000 Canadians. The 

majority of these deaths were in western Canada as shown in the infographic below. 

Naloxone comes in 3 different types of applicator:

  • a syringe that requires previous knowledge of where to inject and how to do so, best left for health professionals
  • An autoinjector, this applicator when activated provides verbal instruction to the user. This method can be used easily for untrained individuals although is still best done by a health professional
  • Nasal Spray is a prefilled, needle free method of delivery. To use you place the applicator in the overdosing person's nose and spray. 

In conclusion, it is important to be aware of the opioid problem in Canada and how to prevent a death when possible. If you are a person that may be in a situation where a Naloxone kit may be needed, they can be found at their Toward the Heart site locator or call 811 anytime day or night to find a site near you. For more information check out the learn more links below.

Learn more: 







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