About the Antidote – Naloxone
Naloxone, also known by its brand-name of Narcan, is a synthetic drug that reverses the effects of a prescription painkiller overdose. If administered in time, naloxone can save the life of an individual who has overdosed. Hospitals and first responders have used it for decades. But naloxone is now available by prescription and requires little training – it can be administered by someone who witnesses an overdose. Naloxone can be sprayed into the nose or injected into a muscle with a syringe.
Colorado laws provide protection from criminal charges for medical professionals who prescribe naloxone to third parties, and for non-medical people who witness an overdose and administer the drug. Other laws protect healthcare professionals who administer naloxone in an overdose emergency from charges.2
Learn more about Colorado laws on the use of prescription drugs. If you know someone who abuses prescription painkillers, speak with your doctor about naloxone. The World Health Organization estimates increasing the availability of naloxone could prevent 20,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.3
- “Recognizing Opioid Overdose,” Harm Reduction Coalition, http://harmreduction.org/issues/overdose-prevention/overview/overdose-basics/recognizing-opioid-overdose/, accessed 11/14/14.
- “Drug Overdose Immunity ‘Good Samaritan’ Laws,” National Conference of State Legislatures, 11/14/2014. http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/drug-overdose-immunity-good-samaritan-laws.aspx
- “Making Naloxone More Widely Available Could Prevent 20,000 U.S. Deaths: WHO,” Partnership for Drug Free Kids, 11/4/14. http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/making-naloxone-widely-available-prevent-20000-u-s-deaths/