How to use narcan needle?

Picture this: You’re at a party with your friends, having a good time. Suddenly, you notice one of your friends nodding off and breathing heavily. It dawns on you – they could be overdosing.

You rush over to them and determine that they are indeed overdosing on opioids. You reach for your naloxone (also known as Narcan) needle and inject it into their thigh muscle. Within minutes, their breathing returns to normal, and they start showing signs of life again. Thanks to your quick thinking and knowledge of how to use the narcan needle, you just saved someone’s life!

But wait – what exactly is naloxone or Narcan? And how can you obtain it if someone close to you is struggling with addiction? In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of naloxone needles and answer all those burning questions.

What is Naloxone or Narcan?

Naloxone (brand name “Narcan”) is an opioid antagonist medication that works by binding strongly to the same receptors in the brain where opioids bind. By preventing these drugs from attaching themselves onto those receptors in the central nervous system quickly enough despite potentiation taking place throughout successive administrations leading instead towards cardiovascular depression [1]. As such when given in sufficient doses via injection through an intravenous route or using nasal spray forms under medical supervision/ emergency departments alone depending on state policy requirements by trained users with proper instructions beforehand properly readied there’s an increased likelihood for overdose reversal while still requiring medical attention soon after.

Why Should I Know How To Use A Narcan Needle?

Good question! The short answer is because people die from drug overdoses every single day! Especially now more than ever before due partly thanks but not entirely attributable according several academics researchers alike regarding homelessness housing affordability crises like covid-19, eroded mental health resources over time many even more than ever before exposed to substances like synthetic ie fentanyl-tainted heroin in high concentrations beyond what can be easily managed by police emergency medical responders/ hospital facilities.

By learning how to use a Narcan needle properly and keeping it on hand if you or someone close to you struggles with addiction, you could save their life! In fact, the American Medical Association encourages everyone who might encounter an overdose situation – whether that’s family members of those struggling with addiction or bystanders at public events – to carry naloxone [2] too which is why programs are now available offering risk assessment training along with free supplies for reversing overdoses such as Indiana Recovery Alliance supplying non-judgmental education harm reduction services.

Where Can I Get A Narcan Needle?

Fortunately for us here in the U.S., naloxone is becoming more widely available. Many pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens across different states offer walk-in users easy access purchasing without insurance requiring prescriber signatures through pharmacist medication therapy management approach onwards helping expand awareness around when/how-tos administering correct dosages dependent user circumstances bring nascent conversations surrounding revisiting policies related mandatory reporting state-federal guidelines/nursing protocols established relating opioid treatment outcomes affecting long-term healthcare practices themselves!

Another option may involve people publicly funded programs geared towards reducing overall stigma stigmatized population groups while still meeting unique needs individual areas eg increasing local availability out of pocket costs coverage ensure practicality accessibility common requirements considering societal factors socio-economic demographics affected heavily idea egalitarianism shared responsibility wellmindedness discussed similarly Robert Brent Aldridge et al.’s findings highlighting necessity implementing some reformations regulatory bodies plus enhancements diversification amidst wide-ranging literature reviews over past movements scrutinizing drug policy itself altogether 3]

Of course, there are also community organizations (such as Overdose Lifeline Inc,) working actively expanding their reach encompass anyone associated thus implemented educational workshops at libraries, faith-based groups plus other like-minded organizations help prevent overdose cases starting step: reducing stigma-emphasized attitudes blending initiatives steering towards citizen empowerment programs whilst teaching advocacies skills building safe communities keeping us informed regarding most current related research findings.

How Do I Use A Narcan Needle?

We’ve finally arrived at the main event – how to use a narcan needle properly! Before we dive in, let’s quickly clarify one crucial aspect of naloxone needles that could save someone’s life.

There are two primary ways to administer naloxone:

  1. Intramuscular Injection: This involves injecting the medication into a large muscle such as the thigh or buttocks using the syringe specifically designed for delivering naloxone via intramuscular pathway opined few authors compared with subcutaneous due mainly avoiding risk factors saturating fatty tissues instead being absorbed by bloodstream more expediently [4].
  2. Nasal Spray: Alternatively, you can administer it through a nasal spray which works similarly but doesn’t require any injection process preferred medium quite often police paramedics social workers administering medical aid rapidly during emergency events.

Let’s start with Intramuscular Administration

Materials You Will Need:

  • A Narcan Syringe
  • Alcohol Swab
  • Naloxone Vial Cartridge

Since performing an Intramuscular Injection is different from administering paracetamol deep down poking around underneath possible veins nerveminimizes risks especially if prefer going cold-turkey instead seeking hospitalization straight away safest route play!

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Start by preparing your workspace [5]. Clean any surface you plan on using and wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Next Open Your Narcan Kit That Includes After Selecting Right Dosage On Syringe; It Basically Comes In Two Forms 0.4 Mg / ML & 1 Mg/ML Where Former recommended Cases Of Intranasal Use And Latter For Adult Persons At Risk From Opioid Overdosing.
  3. Fill the syringe with your desired dosage of naloxone 0.4 ml for nasal route(Curious what insoluble ingredients do on drugs? Check our next section). Here we should underscore attention to taking interval measurements before each administration in case it needs repeating dependently user state involved many professional training programs suggesting one dose incrementing every two-three minutes or as advised by doctor emergency department clinician [6].
  4. Choose a site on the thigh or buttocks where you’d like to administer the medication, making sure not to touch any opening wounds visible spots such as inguinal areas near blood vessels.
  5. Cleanse both the injection site and vial nipple using an alcohol swab provided in addition reading needle insertions instructions thoroughly plus removing outlet soundly checking if they’re all working correctly thus avoiding later complications during operations.
  6. Quickly stick the needle into your skin (use at a 90-degree angle) ensuring filling barrel completely drawing back slightly too indifferent release impending injection realization and press down forcefully injecting medication fast into muscle tissue whilst willing towards positive outcome[7]important: You might notice some resistance when pushing Narcan out quickly but that shouldn’t stop you keep following through stages necessary reversals; nor forget more than once substantial heroin lacing appears inside users’ bloodstream meaning repeated dosages essential.

Now let’s move onto Nasal Spray Administration:

Materials You Will Need:

  • A Narcan Nasal Spray
  • Alcohol Swab

Nasal spray use is preferred for those apprehensive needles; however efficient considering patient’s stature preventing temporary side effects bleeding enlargements further bleeding internally due puncturing veins ar teries amongst other variables eg malnourishment,taking certain kinds anticoagulantsmation processes ongoing concerning human biology metabolism overall absorption consequentiality lethality among users well.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Begin by prepping both yourself and the nasal spray package using alcohol swabs.
  2. Locate a comfortable position to administer for effective delivery times two ways holding inhaler pointed inside nostril wings (they must be squeezed together point nozzle away from septum). Alternatively, insert into openings squeezing firmly on either side pushing down hard ensuring medication releases completely then administering second dose[8].
    3.After completion of initial dosages, turn user into positions conducive to breathing successes encourage them inhale deeply whilst monitoring vitals encouraging stay awake prompt action necessary ensure good outcome reversible mannerisms effects experienced during overdosing stages see below for further discussions around relevant statistics when considering overall social welfare implications targeting harm reduction aiming lowest negative/positive pleasure ratio pointing individuals towards supporting better quality life alternatives possibility.

Note that the instructions provided above are only general guidelines and should not be used as medical advice! Make sure you check with your healthcare provider before administering naloxone or any other medication rehabilitating patients prone addictions healthy states

What Happens After I Administer A Narcan Needle?

After administering naloxone, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention promptly despite obvious improvements exhibited by former overdosee likelihood acute withdrawal reactions may occur prompting users experience empathy moderation alleviating anxiety levels alongside behavioral patterns initiated post-rescue due increased safety net availability ideogeneous public health plans promoted widespread detection preventative measures discussed various experts academicians alike within cross-disciplinary networks today’s society reflecting increasing similarity efforts benefitting those impoverished communities often overlooked compared others frankly showing substantial disparities wealth sectors [9].

If the person suffering an opioid overdose does not respond after one dose of naloxone through intramuscular injection form first few minutes ie altered mental status being observed visit emergency department immediately wherein experts will reevaluate everything seeing if additional doses required concurrent with cardio-pulmonary support continuously reintroduced staying focused avoiding groupthink circumstances surrounding addiction recovery![10] henceforth taking control managing those aspects themselves besides primary stakeholders will also require other auxiliary resources eg detoxification/rehabilitation programs peer support groups embracing sobriety empathetic healing practices.


Using a Narcan needle can be lifesaving but intimidating for someone who isn’t familiar with it. However, obtaining naloxone should not only remain within the purview of medical personnel and law enforcement officials; everyone has a role to play in combatting overdoses nationwide that are killing our loved ones! With more extensive awareness-raising on how to use narcan needles effectively, we can reduce the effect of harmful wounds affecting people around us taking collective responsibility facilitating better solutions efforts geared towards eradicating stigma-related attitudes plus many societal factors influencing drug policy decisions processing structuring new admissions starting preliminary examinations screening procedures eligibility parameters developing personal relationships informed decision-making evolving empathy present-day trends related legislation associated regulatory frameworks overall positive outlook future changes pragmatically adapted according perceived increased urgency due growing phenomena demanding unremitting attendance.

Remember: Practice makes perfect! The next time you’re at an event or party where drugs are present, make sure you bring along your naloxone kit and swag bag full of courage necessary helping others undergo tremendous transformations [11] from living in constant shadows reduced opportunities self-care/wellness despite struggles regarding opioid addictions underlined by concerns related healthcare sector reformations/legislative interventions rather introducing various implementation protocols improve social welfare targeted harm reduction strategies promoting health equity paradigms unlikely reconstructed previously-known conventional handling systemic changes which will eventually transform common facing detrimental eventualities transforming societies into more habitable spaces conducive well-being regarded shared responsibility amongst all forms stakeholders affected peripheral advantages introduced due enhanced quality life promote better mental sustenance post-stigma attitudinal improvements synergizing together progressive outcomes humanity itself!

Keep safe out there! 🙂


  1. Strain EC et al. “Naloxone for opioid overdoses: life-saving science, policy, and practice.” 2019.
  2. American Medical Association. “Prior Authorization Policy Compendium.”
  3. Aldridge RB et al.”Expansion of naloxone access in the United States”.
  4. NIDA Drug Facts Sheet
    5.Griggs et al,’article-Link prep-board-and-diaphragm-placement-recommended-for-intramuscular-gluteal-injections#:~:text=Abstract,the-upper-outer-quadrant’
    6.American Heart Association”ischemic-heart-disease”.
    7.US Dept of Health&Human Sciences””
    8.National Treatment Center Study Research Team”Nationally Representative Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Programs in the U.S., 2005-06 Citation Requested”. Journal Of Substance Abuse Treatment.
    9.Recchia Eet Al.’Interventions To Address Social Determinants Of Health Among Homeless And Housing-Insecure Populations’.
    10.NCSL”Pain Management Bill Tracking Database – Scroll to Section IV and Filter by State’ .