Little Cities of Hope: How Narcan Can Save a Life & Common Questions


By Michelle Ward

What is Narcan? Narcan is a medication that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist, which means that it attaches to opioid receptors in the brain to temporarily reverse and block the effects of other opioids.

How is Narcan given? Narcan should be given to any person who shows signs of an opioid overdose or when an overdose is suspected. It will not hurt someone who is not having an overdose, but can save a life when administered and followed by medical attention.

What are some signs of an opioid overdose? The face is extremely pale and/or clammy to the touch, the body is limp, fingernails or lips have a blue or purple hue, the person is vomiting or making gurgling noises, the individual cannot be awakened from sleep or is unable to speak.

What precautions are needed when giving Narcan? Narcan works to reverse opioid overdose in the body for only 30 to 90 minutes, but many opioids remain in the body longer than that. Because of this, it is possible for a person to still experience the affects of an overdose after a dose of naloxone wears off. Also, some opioids are stronger and might require multiple doses of Narcan. Therefore, one of the most important steps to take is to call 9-1-1 so the individual can receive immediate medical attention.

Who can Narcan be given to? Narcan won’t have any effect on someone who doesn’t need it (someone who is not overdosing from opioids). So, it’s safe to give someone Narcan if you think they may have overdosed on opioids but aren’t sure. It is safe to give to a pregnant woman, infant and even a dog.

Who should carry Narcan? EVERYONE! Including people with an opioid prescription or not. Whether you do or don’t use opioids, you never know when you may be in a situation where it is needed. 

Where can I get Narcan? Many pharmacies carry Narcan or Naloxone. It is also possible to get Naloxone from community-based distribution programs, local public health groups or local health departments, free of charge.

To get Narcan from Southeast Utah Health Department free of charge, contact Michelle at (435) 636-1157 or (435) 609-0807.

What is an upcoming community free event to learn more? Join us for a meal, candlelight luminary, remembrance of those we have lost, resources and training on Naloxone, and more on International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31. “A Light to Remember” begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at Huntington State Park. This is a free community event to remember those lost to overdose, but is also a celebration of recovery and hope. The event will feature a remembrance wall as well as Narcan/Naloxone education and dissemination. Local community resources for recovery supports, harm reduction and treatment will also be present. Learn more at

NIDA. 2022, January 11. Naloxone DrugFacts. Retrieved from on 2022, June 14

scroll to top