Medication-assisted treatment or MAT offers individuals a wide range of options for addressing opioid use disorder and addiction. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a short-acting opioid antagonist medication. The great advantage of this medication is it can counteract life-threatening depression of the central nervous and respiratory system during an overdose. Without this medication, individuals stand a far greater chance of dying from an overdose. Instead, naloxone allows the overdose victim to breathe. Sunlight Medical Services offers naloxone to treat overdoses for patients struggling with opioid use disorder. It is an emergency medication when overdose occurs. Patients and those who care about them can administer naloxone with little training. The medication is a lifesaver.
How to Use Naloxone and Its Benefits
With the ever-expanding opioid epidemic, overdose deaths have risen. Thus, it’s vital for those struggling with opioid use disorder or those with friends, coworkers, classmates, or loved ones struggling with addiction to have a means to counteract an overdose. Naloxone has become the answer. The medication saves lives. However, it’s not a replacement for emergency medical attention. What naloxone provides is a reprieve from an overdose.
Naloxone is used to treat an opioid overdose if someone has taken too much. It can be injected or sprayed in the nose. Naloxone only works for opioids. It may need to be given more than once for an opioid overdose since its effects may wear off before the opioid does. While commonly injectable, naloxone comes in three FDA-approved forms:
- Injectable: Although common, this form of naloxone does require a certain level of training to be administered properly. However, this training is simple and easily learned.
- Autoinjectable: Another form involves a prefilled auto-injection device similar to how an EpiPen injector works. However, some devices provide verbal instructions like automated defibrillators. This form of naloxone is simple for families and others.
- Nasal Spray: Narcan offers a prefilled nasal spray that is a needle-free device. When someone is experiencing an overdose, anyone can administer this form of naloxone by spraying it into one nostril while the patient is lying on their back.
At Sunlight Medical Services, we keep naloxone on hand for emergencies. We work with Sonoran Prevention Works to distribute free Naloxone to all our patients (three ampules, three syringes). Furthermore, all our patients receive practical training to:
- identify whether the person has overdosed
- call 911 immediately
- how to administer Naloxone
- how to determine if repeated administration is necessary
When an Overdose Occurs
Recognizing the signs of an opioid overdose is important so that naloxone can be given. Some common signs include:
- Pinpoint pupils
- Drastically slowed breathing
- Slow heartbeat
- Extreme sleepiness
- An inability to respond even if conscious
When someone exhibits these signs, they may need naloxone. However, even after getting naloxone, patients need to be kept under observation until emergency care arrives. Medical professionals will continue to keep watch over patients for at least two hours to make sure the individual’s breathing does not stop.
While an extremely safe medication, naloxone can cause some withdrawal symptoms in rare instances. However, when they do arise, they aren’t life-threatening. Frequently, they include headache, changes in blood pressure, rapid heart rate, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and tremors.
Sunlight Medical Services
When confronting an overdose due to opioid use disorder, naloxone can save lives. This medication can neutralize an opioid overdose saving the life of the individual. Thus, it makes sense to become familiar with it.
In our comfortable and professional facility located in a medical plaza, you’ll find the medication-assisted treatment program that will work best for you. Also, Sunlight Medical Services offers several behavioral programs to support your treatment. For example, we offer the following:
- Individual Counseling
- Group Counseling
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Behavioral Intervention for Pain
These therapies and programs combined with our medication-assisted treatment program give patients the comprehensive care needed to make a lasting recovery. So contact us today at 855.920.1104 to learn how Sunlight can help you.