What is Naloxone, how does it work and how do you get it?
Naloxone, or Narcan helps to reduce opiate overdoses. It is not a scheduled drug and there is no potential for abuse.
Naloxone is not effective in treating overdoses of benzodiazepines (such as Valium, Xanax, or Klonopin), barbituates (Seconal or Fiorinal), Clonidine, Elavil, GHB or Katamine. It is also not effective in overdoses with stimulants, such as cocaine and amphetamines.
However, if opioids are taken in combinations with other sedatives or stimulants, naloxone might be helpful.
Naloxone works because it has a stronger affinity to the opioid receptors than the scheduled drug, so it knocks the opiates off the receptors for a short time. This allows a person to breathe again and potentially reverse the overdose.
In Maine, Naloxone or Narcan is available with a prescription from your provider. It is also being carried by some first responders, such as the police and Firefighters in York. Please see the full story here.