Where to Get Narcan for Free or Discounted (and How to Use It)
What Is Narcan?
Narcan, also referred to as Naloxone, is a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose. It can rapidly restore an individual’s breathing and heart rate within two to three minutes, usually if administered in time. In 2017, opioid overdose claimed the lives of more than 17,000 people. Although Narcan saves thousands of lives each year, opioid overdose rates remain high.
In the U.S., as many as 10 million people misuse opioid drugs each year. Opioids include both street drugs like heroin and prescription drugs like Vicodin, Hydrocodone, and Oxycodone. In 2018, two out of every three overdose deaths involved an opioid. For this reason, many legislators began to push for easier access to the drug Narcan, which has the power to block the effects of opioids on the body and reverse their effects. The Centers for Disease Control found that states that eased Narcan access protocols saw opioid overdose death rates decrease by 11%.
Because Narcan saves lives and is easy to administer in nasal spray form, all 50 states have passed laws allowing pharmacies to sell Narcan over the counter. No doctor’s prescription is needed for the nasal spray form of Narcan, and the pre-packaged nasal spray is sold as Narcan or under its generic name–Naloxone. The nasal spray is FDA-approved and widely available at most major chain pharmacies.
Narcan can be thought of as an antidote to opioid overdose. However, it does not work to reverse the overdose of other non-opioid drugs. Also, a person taking Narcan will not get high from it. Narcan is not a cure for opioid addiction, and it is only a remedy for opioid overdose. As a potentially life-saving measure, it’s essential to know where to get Narcan to have a dose available if you use opioid drugs.
Where to Get Narcan
Narcan is currently available at most major pharmacies as an over-the-counter medication. Customers can purchase the nasal spray form of Narcan without a doctor’s prescription, and Injectable Narcan is available by prescription. If you visit your doctor or an addiction rehab like Muse Treatment, they can inform you about which local pharmacies carry Narcan. If you obtain this medication via a prescription, it may be covered by your medical insurance prescription coverage. Otherwise, pricing for Narcan varies by pharmacy. You can visit the Narcan website for help finding pharmacies that offer Narcan in your area as well.
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Can You Get Narcan for Free or Discounted?
Many public health clinics and community health centers offer over-the-counter forms of Narcan for free or at a discounted price. Also, some participating pharmacies dispense free Narcan in spray form. Many states now feature free Narcan programs in communities heavily impacted by opioid abuse. You can search online for free Narcan offerings near you or contact your local health department. Your health clinic and physician may also know where you may obtain free Narcan doses. In Los Angeles, you can contact Muse Treatment to find out about current locations offering free or discounted Narcan.
Who Should Have Narcan on Hand?
Any person using opioids either by prescription or with illicit use should consider keeping Narcan with them. Opioid overdoses are, sadly, all too common, even among people who use prescription opioid medications. If you use opioids of any type, you should keep Narcan on hand. Opioid users should instruct those closest to them that they have Narcan; they may be too incapacitated to administer the nasal spray.
If you take a prescription narcotic like morphine or codeine, talk to your physician about Narcan. Although you don’t need a prescription to obtain this drug over the counter, your medical insurance may cover the cost of the medication if prescribed by your doctor.
Know the Signs of an Overdose
Only a slightly excessive amount of an opioid drug can cause an overdose. Taking too much of any opioid can cause overdose and death. It’s essential to know all the signs of overdose. These signs can include:
- Body becomes limp
- Skin turns blue
- Lips and fingers turn blue
- Individuals may be conscious but unresponsive
- Loss of consciousness
- An individual makes gurgling noises
- A person’s breathing becomes slow or stops
- Heartbeat becomes irregular
- Individual may vomit
Any one of these symptoms should be cause for serious concern. The sooner Narcan can be administered to the overdose victim, the better their chances of survival. Even so, it’s important to contact emergency services. A Narcan dose may only work for between 30 minutes and 90 minutes. It’s vital for anyone experiencing a drug overdose to be evaluated by emergency medical care. If the Narcan wears off while there are still excess amounts of opioids in the person’s system, they can continue to experience overdose effects.
How to Use Narcan
If you’re wondering how to use Narcan to reverse an overdose, you have two options: Narcan comes in nasal spray or injectable forms. In the hospital, it may be given intravenously as well. The nasal spray is available over the counter in all 50 states today, owing to recently passed Narcan access legislation.
To use any Narcan product, always use it in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. General instructions for using Narcan nasal spray are as follows:
- Peel back the packaging to remove the nasal spray
- Hold the spray with your thumb and depress the bottom of the plunger and then the two fingers on the nozzle
- Place the tip of the nozzle in one nostril (either) until your fingers touch the bottom of the individual’s nose.
- Press firmly on the plunger to release the spray
These sprays work similarly, but again, read the product’s directions for more specific instructions related to the product you have in hand.
What Happens if You Give Narcan to Someone Who Doesn’t Need it?
If you give someone you suspect of overdosing on opioids a dose of Narcan; the drug will not affect the individual. It is safe to give someone a dose of Narcan if you think they’ve taken too much of an opioid drug, even if they have not. In other words, there is no safety risk associated with giving someone Narcan who does not need it. Since there is no adverse effect of using this drug, there is no risk of keeping it on hand if you use opioid drugs.
Drug Rehab at Muse Treatment in Los Angeles
If you are suffering from opioid addiction, either a prescription opioid addiction or illicit addiction, you should seek help. Overdose remains a risk for an individual who uses opioid drugs. At Muse Treatment Center, we offer high-quality addiction rehab treatments, including inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.
Addiction is a chronic condition. Unless it’s managed, it’s apt to become a progressive condition, which means it will worsen. A single instance of abuse can lead to an acute episode of overdose that may cause temporary or permanent health effects or death. Long-term abuse of opioids will cause a person’s physical and mental health to deteriorate.
Must Treatment Center offers treatment for addiction as well as mental health disorders. Our Los Angeles rehab also provides dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis involves the presence of addiction along with a mental illness. Nearly a third of people with a substance addiction also have a mental health condition.
When you contact Muse Treatment for help, addiction specialists will provide you with an evaluation to help you choose the best course of treatment for you. Inpatient treatment offerings are ideal for individuals who are just beginning their recovery journey, and these individuals may still feel unstable and suffer from intense cravings and temptations to use. Outpatient programs are ideal for people who have progressed through initial treatment, feel stable, and may want to work or care for their families while obtaining treatment.
At Muse Treatment, clients typically begin their treatment with clinical detox, which targets their physical dependence. Clients addicted to opioids may experience withdrawal symptoms that include flu-like symptoms, and clinicians will offer treatments designed to reduce the severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms. After detox, clients can progress to the next phase of treatment that targets their psychological and behavioral dependencies on drugs or alcohol.
Addiction treatment helps clients manage their addiction. While there isn’t a cure for addiction, this condition can be managed with abstinence, allowing clients to safeguard their health and the critical aspects of their life, such as their livelihood and personal relationships. Muse Treatment offers customized treatment programs. Our addiction specialists provide empathetic care and have the expertise to guide clients along their recovery journey.
Don’t wait to get help if you have an opioid addiction or are abusing powerful opioid drugs. Narcan is helpful to keep on hand and may prevent overdose from resulting in death, but it is not a cure for addiction. Visit or contact Muse Treatment Center at (800) 426-1818 today to learn more about our addiction rehab treatments.