UT University Health Services

Naloxone / Narcan

Naloxone is a medication used to reverse the effects of an overdose from heroin and some types of painkillers. Naloxone is also known by the brand name Narcan. It is by shot or nasal spray.

Naloxone blocks the effects of drugs made from opium, or opioids. These include:

  • heroin
  • morphine
  • oxycodone
  • methadone
  • fentanyl
  • hydrocodone
  • codeine

Opioids slow your breathing. If you take too much of an opioid, your breathing may stop and you could die. If given soon enough, naloxone can counter the overdose effects, usually within minutes. However, the medication only pauses the effects of opioids, and emergency medical help is still required.

Please note that naloxone will not provide medical rescue help to someone passed out or overdosing from a non-opioid substance, such as alcohol or Xanax. Though naloxone will not help them, it also will not harm them.

Opioid Overdose

A person who has overdosed from opioids may:

  • be breathing very slow or not breathing
  • have blue or purplish lips or fingernails
  • be limp
  • be vomiting or gurgling
  • not wake up or respond if you try to rouse him

If a person shows signs of an opioid overdose:

  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Begin rescue breathing, if the person isn’t taking in air.
  • Give the person naloxone.

Naloxone on Campus

Students may access Narcan on campus at 24-hour residence hall front desks and at the security desk in the Perry‑Castañeda Library.

A staff person will provide the naloxone from a secured box. Students are not required to provide their name or other information to obtain the free medication. However, staff in the course of responding to a medical emergency, will collect student and other incident information to help manage the emergency.

Content adapted from WebMD


Get Naloxone Now
Harm Reduction Coalition – Overdose Prevention
SAMSHA - substance abuse and mental health services administration - Naloxone
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