People are prescribed opioid medications to treat chronic and severe pain. But they also come with many risks due to their side effects and the risk of overdose and addiction. With this in mind, and the increase in Narcan use by first responders, opioid overdoses, and opioid overdose deaths in Beaufort County, the Beaufort County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Department would like to encourage everyone, especially businesses and public spaces, to make Narcan (naloxone) a part of your first aid kit.
Narcan is a nasal spray you can use to temporarily bring someone out of an opioid overdose. Narcan works by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain from transferring a signal to the rest of the body. Signs to look for if someone is experiencing an opioid overdose are constricted pupils; loss of consciousness; slow, weak, or no breathing; limp body; flaccid skin and muscles; cold or clammy skin; and discolored (blue) skin on the lips and the nails.
Using Narcan on someone is simple. If someone is experiencing the symptoms of an overdose, call 911. Then lay them on their back, take out your Narcan, put it into the individual’s nostril, push in the depressor, then lay them on their side. In about four minutes, the person should start to return to normal. If not, administer another dose of Narcan – if you have it – in the opposite nostril. Emergency Personnel will also walk you through using Narcan while on the phone.
Having Narcan on you in an emergency is much like carrying an epi-pen. It is a life-saving tool that can help in an emergency. The best part about Narcan is that if the person is not experiencing an opioid overdose, using Narcan will not harm them. Good Samaritan laws that protect people from being sued when giving first aid or CPR apply to Narcan.
An opioid overdose could happen anywhere, from in your home if you took one too many painkillers to restaurants and bars, sporting events, and community gathering places. Opioid use disorder also affects people from all walks of life, and we never know who the next person could be to overdose. With Narcan’s ease of use, low risk, life-saving potential, and user protection, we encourage everyone to make Narcan a part of their first aid kit.
The Beaufort County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Department offers Narcan for free to anyone who comes in and requests it. Please come to our Beaufort office at 1905 Duke Street Suite 270, Beaufort, SC 29902, or our Bluffton office at 4819 Bluffton Parkway Suite 303, Bluffton, SC 29910 for a brief training on using Narcan and receive two doses for free. Thank you very much for helping us prevent unnecessary harm within our community.
– By: Galen Sturup Comeau