Free Narcan

Narcan Saves Lives: Now located in each AED case

*Free* Naloxone (Narcan) doses are available at SHS after receiving training!

Prescription Opioids

Opioids are chemicals designed to reduce pain. Types of opioids include heroin, morphine, fentanyl, Vicodin, and OxyContin. Opioid pain relievers are generally safe when taken as prescribed. However, opioids can be misused which means they’re taken in a different way or quantity than prescribed or taken without a prescription. Regular use—even as prescribed—can lead to dependence and, when misused, opioid pain relievers can lead to addiction, overdose, and death.

end overdose

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is highly addictive and very easily can lead to overdose. Fentanyl is manufactured as both a pharmaceutical drug and an illicit drug. Fentanyl is often mixed or "cut" into opioids such as heroin and counterfeit prescription drugs. More recently, it has been increasingly mixed into other non-opioid drugs such as Adderall, ecstasy/molly, cocaine, methamphetamine, and even cannabis. This makes the risk of accidentally ingesting Fentanyl much higher.

Deaths due to opioid overdoses are on the rise. Most of the recent overdose deaths have been due to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Fentanyl can be fatal in very small doses. Drugs can contain fentanyl and you wouldn’t be able to taste, smell, or see it. Just 2 milligrams, or the equivalent of a few grains of salt, may be enough to be lethal.

Naloxone nasal spray

Naloxone is a medication that can be used in emergency situations when an opioid overdose is suspected. Naloxone is safe and easy to use, even by friends or family, when a loved one experiences an overdose event. Naloxone works almost immediately and is not addictive.

Naloxone is the generic form of the medication; NARCAN is a brand name for naloxone just as Tylenol is a brand name for the generic medication acetaminophen. Naloxone is available as a nasal spray or an injection. NARCAN is contained in a small white device about two inches long. The device is used to deliver a spray into the nose. Each device is considered a dose and each box contains two devices.

Administering Naloxone

"Administering Naloxone” equips public health agencies, community organizations, friends, family members and others with the knowledge and skills needed to prevent opioid-related deaths by using naloxone, a drug that can reverse an overdose. The 11 minute training video includes a six point checklist on how to recognize when a person is overdosing and demonstrates how to dispense naloxone and provide post-overdose care. 

  • Small, constricted "pinpoint pupils”
  • Falling asleep or losing consciousness
  • Slow, weak, or no breathing
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Limp body
  • Cold and/or clammy skin
  • Discolored skin (especially in lips and nails)

*California's Good Samaritan law protects those giving emergency medical care at the scene of a medical emergency, including giving naloxone.

If someone is having a medical emergency other than an opioid overdose – such as a diabetic coma or cardiac arrest – giving them naloxone won’t have any effect or cause them additional harm.

People of all ages can safely use naloxone, so naloxone can also be used for suspected overdose in infants, children, and the elderly.

fentanyl test strips

What are fentanyl test strips (FTS) and how are they used?

  • Fentanyl test strips (‘FTS’) are a form of inexpensive drug testing technology that was originally developed for urinalysis, but which have been shown to be effective at detecting the presence of fentanyl and fentanyl-analogs in drug samples prior to ingestion.
  • In order to use the strips, testers dissolve a small amount of substance in water, and then dip the test strip into the liquid for 15 seconds.
    • Because the test strips are highly sensitive, a minimal amount of drug residue is sufficient to obtain a result. The test strip is then set on a flat surface until results appear, typically within 5 minutes. One line indicates fentanyl is present in the sample; two lines indicate a negative result.

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