HTML5 IconNarcan is often used to treat opiate overdose. It works by knocking out opiates that have bonded to opiate receptors in the brain. It should be administered immediately after an overdose, and a second dose may be given if the person is unresponsive to the first. The effects are typically immediate and will last from 30-90 minutes. It is vital to have Narcan on hand when treating opioid abuse/dependence. Those who struggle with opiate use disorder are especially vulnerable for overdose after detoxing and relapsing. Police often carry Narcan, and it can be prescribed by a doctor or obtained at some needle exchange locations for free. Narcan can be given by a nasal spray or intramuscular injection.

Needle Exchange

HTML5 IconNeedle exchange sites are a public health service for those who are experiencing a substance use disorder involving injection. In a safe environment, it reduces the spread of HIV and other blood-borne infections among people who inject drugs. New, sterile syringes and clean injection equipment is provided at these sites in exchange for used, contaminated syringes. These sites operate an important part of comprehensive care by getting users into treatment and health care services, including testing for infections these individuals are prone to, treatment readiness counseling and case management services, education about harms associated with drug use and how to minimize them, and safe disposal of contaminated equipment.