Busting 3 Myths About NARCAN

person holding NARCAN nasal spray box and spray in hand

Busting 3 Myths About NARCAN

NARCAN, generically known as Naloxone, is a tool that can reverse an overdose in seconds. In March 2023, it was approved as an over-the-counter medicine, which means later this year, it will be available to everyone in places like drug stores, grocery stores, and gas stations. In July, a second OTC nasal spray was approved by the FDA. This is great news, and it’s going to save lives — but there are some myths swirling around NARCAN that we want to dispel, so that everyone knows the truth about this life-saving tool. Here are 3 prominent myths about NARCAN.

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Myth #1 – NARCAN Encourages Drug Use

There is a belief that just because NARCAN can reverse an overdose within minutes, that it encourages those suffering from opioid use disorder to continue using because they feel like they have a safety net. Research has repeatedly shown this to be false. In fact, some studies suggest that NARCAN results in decreased opioid use.

Myth #2 – NARCAN Can Be Abused

NARCAN can cause the onset of withdrawals after its administration. This means that while it is useful in saving a person’s life in the event of an overdose, that person also requires immediate medical attention. NARCAN also only works on those who have opioids in their system. 

Myth #3 – NARCAN Prevents People from Seeking Treatment

This may be one of the most pernicious myths about NARCAN. NARCAN does not prevent people from seeking treatment; NARCAN saves lives. To be extremely blunt, you can’t go to treatment if you’re dead. Based on our experiences in dealing extensively with people in recovery who have been saved by NARCAN, we have seen firsthand how impactful an overdose event is on a person. For many people, a drug overdose is the most powerful wakeup call they can experience. For all of the denial and self-deception that those struggling with substance use disorders so often engage in, a near-death experience is often the last straw. If that person’s family had no idea their loved one was using opioids, it is likely that they will find out in the wake of such a drastic medical emergency.

The only difference is that when naloxone is readily available, that dreaded call to family and friends is less likely to be about a loved one’s loss of life — and more often about a loved one who needs and is ready for help, who has been given a chance at recovery and renewal.

Have any questions about addiction recovery or finding a transitional living program? Contact Release Recovery today at 914-588-6564