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How To Use Narcan

It's important to call 911 immediately before or after administering Narcan because it's not a substitute for emergency medical care.

  1. Check for Signs of an Overdose: These signs may include unresponsiveness, slow or shallow breathing, a slow or no heartbeat, very small or pinpoint pupils, unusually pale or bluish skin, or choking or gurgling sounds.

  2. Call 911: If you suspect an overdose, immediately call 911, even if you plan to administer Narcan.

  3. Get the Narcan Nasal Spray: Make sure it's not expired by checking the expiration date on the box.

  4. Prepare the Narcan Nasal Spray: Hold the Narcan Nasal Spray with your thumb on the bottom of the plunger and your first and middle fingers on either side of the nozzle.

  5. Administer the Narcan Nasal Spray: Tilt the person's head back and gently insert the nozzle into one nostril until your fingers touch the bottom of the person's nose. Then press the plunger firmly to release the dose into the person's nose.

  6. Monitor the Person: After you've administered the Narcan Nasal Spray, turn the person onto their side to prevent them from choking in case they vomit. If the person does not respond within 2-3 minutes, administer a second dose of Narcan in the other nostril. Continue to monitor their breathing and pulse.

  7. Wait for Emergency Services to Arrive: Even after administering Narcan, it's essential to wait for emergency services to arrive. Narcan can wear off in 30 to 90 minutes, and the person could go back into an overdose state if more opioids are in their system.


Remember, Narcan should only be used in an emergency to treat a suspected or known opioid overdose. It does not replace emergency medical care, and calling 911 is always the first step.

Always keep Narcan out of the reach of children, store it at room temperature, and replace it before the expiration date on the package.

Center Point DAAC's content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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