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Creating a Culture of Wellness

These programs focus on making the county healthier. 

What is Naloxone?

Naloxone is a medicine that can reverse an opioid overdose. It removes opioids from the parts of the brain that cause the body to stop breathing. It is completely safe and is not addictive.

How does Naloxone work?

People take naloxone through the nose or an injection. It usually takes 2 – 3 minutes to work and will last 20 – 40 minutes. Anyone can administer Naloxone to someone they think is experiencing an opioid overdose. You do not have to be a medical provider. Naloxone will not hurt someone if they get it by mistake. You are immune from civil or criminal liability if you believe someone is overdosing when you give them naloxone (you act in good faith). If someone took a lot of opioids, or strong opioids, they may need a second or third dose of naloxone. Remember, naloxone only reverses opioid overdoses. If the person has alcohol or other substances in their system, they will probably wake up with the effects of those substances.

How do I get Naloxone?

North Carolina has a standing order for naloxone. This means that anyone can buy it at a pharmacy without a prescription. Health insurance may cover all or part of the cost of naloxone. The cost depends on the form (injection or nasal delivery) and the brand (for example, Narcan). We recommend that families and friends of people with opioid use disorder keep naloxone at home, in the event their loved ones have an overdose.

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