How Does Narcan Work?

how does narcan work

What is Narcan?

Narcan is administered to individuals that are suspected to be overdosing from opioids. It’s generally used in emergency situations. Narcan is an opioid overdose medication with many side effects that range from mild to severe. It is classified as an opioid antagonist because it contains the active drug naloxone. 

How Does Narcan Work Against Overdoses?

During an opioid overdose, the drug Narcan is needed. Narcan works against overdoses by averting the opioid from further influencing the central nervous system. It blocks specific receptors, also known as attachment sites, in your body that opioid latches onto. Narcan assists in the reversal of the symptoms of an opioid overdose. After the opioid receptors are successfully blocked by Narcan, the symptoms of the overdose will disappear. 

What are the Side Effects of Narcan?

Narcan, like any other drug, can affect the body in various ways. The medication can affect each individual differently depending on age, other medications being taken or other health issues being experienced. Keep in mind there are numerous ways to reduce the side effects, as suggested by a pharmacist.

Mild Side Effects

  • Constipation
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Toothache
  • Pain in your bones
  • Dry, stuffy nose, or pain and swelling in your nose
  • Muscle spasms
  • Headache

The side effects should go away within a couple of days or even a few weeks. 

Serious Side Effects

These side effects are not usual but can happen. 

  • Allergic reaction 
  • Opioid withdrawal symptoms 

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny nose or sneezing
  • Fast heart rate
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Belly cramps
  • Trembling
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Feeling restless or irritable

What are Treatment Options for an Opioid Addiction and Overdose?

Opioid overdose contributes to more than half of drug overdose deaths for adults under the age of 50 years old. Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of death within the United States. On average, 130 people die from opioid-related overdoses every day, affecting two million Americans worldwide. The misuse of prescription narcotics can cause social, economic, and health problems. Sana Lake Recovery Center is ready to tackle alarming addiction by offering therapy and treatment. 

Detox

There are several treatment programs offered for various addictions. Drug detox is tailored for those suffering from addictions to heroin, cocaine, and opioids. There is a medication-supervised detox treatment plan to magnify recovery. The staff of nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, and doctors ensure a welcoming environment for the management of withdrawal. 

Therapy

Alcohol use and drug disorders are very significant issues. The environment surrounding the specific individual can truly make an impact on breaking free from addiction. Sana Lake Recovery provides therapy programs that are centered around mental and physical health geared to recovery. 

opioid addiction therapy

Residential Treatment

The leading and most effective treatment option to assist those struggling with a substance use disorder is residential treatment. The individuals receive care 24 hours a day and live at a facility. This is not a permanent living situation but it is exceedingly organized. Some people view this opportunity as a short-term haven while on the road to restoring their life.

Individual Therapy

The process of speaking with a therapist during individual therapy provides the person with a “safe space.” The road to recovery is a bumpy road with countless hassles and challenges along the way. However, the guidance of our staff can professionally assist in the understanding of the journey. Therefore providing tranquility and success. The realization of recognizing triggers, the underlying causes and the impact addiction has made creates freedom to address problems in a wholesome way.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Individual therapy aids in making people more aware of the way that they think. For example, if an individual has a pessimistic way of viewing their life. It is easy for the individual to feel unworthy of help and love and for that reason, they won’t feel the need to change their ways. There will be an enormous amount of shame or guilt. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, a component of individual therapy, inspires the person to examine and recognize negative thoughts to transfer them to healthy, positive ones. 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

This component of dialectical behavioral therapy contributes to the individual controlling their emotions, sustaining and constructing healthy interpersonal relationships, and managing stress. One of the main triggers for those dealing with addiction is stress. This form of therapy assists in the evolution of creating healthier and non-addictive ways to address feelings of tension. 

Group Therapy

This form of therapy requires group counseling sessions with licensed professionals and other members who can guide in conquering addiction struggles. This therapy aims to produce a community of supporters to motivate one another in similar experiences. This is a valuable asset for anyone feeling alone in their journey, even if they have a strong family system. There are a couple of different kinds of groups within group therapy.

Open Groups

This form of group therapy is willingly available to connect without a long waiting period. The only downside to this option is the revolving door of participants in and out at different periods. Therefore there is an adjustment period in making relations with those in the group.

Closed Groups

This therapy takes various months for a person to be a part of because there is a waiting list. A big advantage of this group is the individuals will be starting at the same time as others. It will be easier to create consequential relationships this way. A small group is a more intimate setting whereas a larger group offers wide-range topics with diversity. 

Family Therapy

Addiction can cause tension amongst family members so engaging in family therapy can be extremely beneficial. According to The National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol and drug addictions can be a problem for the entire family. The rewarding part of attending family therapy is addressing all the issues together. There is a lack of knowledge often on the family’s behalf on which direction to take for their loved one, this counseling is geared towards clarity and a chance for each member to voice their concerns. 

What is MAT and What are the Benefits of This Treatment?

Medically-Assisted Therapy

The process of MAT assists in the detoxification and withdrawal process which includes the administration of the medication to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Opioid addiction treatment can lend a helping hand to altering a person’s future by changing their behaviors and attitudes. The person will be challenged to master coping and life skills and stay on a regimen of medical treatment. When an individual gets addicted to opioids, MAT must be applied successfully and safely to transition. 

The specialists assisting this particular treatment utilize anti-craving medications. Support and comprehensive therapy are critical steps in this treatment process. There is high importance to address the situation in its eternity, referencing every angle related to withdrawal, cravings, opioid dependence, and relapse prevention. Individuals faced with physical dependence on opioids normally undergo various relapses. The primary goal of the specialists is to help an individual abstain from using. Once the objective is reached, the tolerance will slowly decrease.

Medically-Assisted Treatment Benefits

  • Reduces the risk of relapse
  • Improves social functioning
  • Increases treatment retention
  • Increases abstinence from opioids  

Sana Lake Recovery believes in the medically-assisted treatment being best suited for our individuals needing opioid treatment addiction. Our main mission is to assist in ending the control and dependence and lead them into a healthier lifestyle on the road to long-term sobriety and recovery. 

How Much Does Narcan Cost?

Depending on numerous factors, the cost of drugs varies. The main factors include the pharmacy used and what the insurance plan covers. 

What Should You Consider Before Using Narcan on Someone Who is Overdosing? 

There are a few items to be considered before obtaining and administering Narcan. When an individual takes a new medication, vaccinations, or even tries a new food with a certain drug, it can affect how the drug works, and this is known as an interaction. Narcan doesn’t have any known interactions with any supplements or drugs but it can still have an interaction. The most beneficial way to go about taking a new medication is to inform the pharmacist and doctor of all the medications being taken beforehand. 

Narcan might not be the best medication if certain factors or medical conditions affect a person’s health. The two biggest factors to consider are allergic reactions or heart problems. There aren’t any known interactions between alcohol and Narcan. If the individual is pregnant, there is a possibility of Narcan passing to the unborn baby and causing opioid withdrawal symptoms after the baby has been born. There is no recommended maximum dose of Narcan but it can be administered multiple times a day, every 2 to 3 minutes, or until the person affected becomes responsive. 

Find Help at Sana Lake Recovery Today

Sana Lake Recovery specializes in mental health and substance use disorders. The road to recovery is long and hard, but it doesn’t have to be walked alone. We offer multiple resources of support and treatment. Contact us for more information. 

References:

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/psychotherapy

https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-epidemic/index.html