Narcan (also known as Naloxone) is a medication that can reverse an overdose caused by an opiate drug. Narcan blocks opiate receptors in the brain, stopping an overdose and restoring breathing within two to eight minutes. It gives those in danger of dying from an overdose the chance to get the treatment and services they need to survive.
Narcan has been used safely by EMS providers and doctors for more than 40 years and has one function: to reverse the effects of opioids on the brain and respiratory system in order to prevent death. Since the Department of Health began its opioid overdose prevention program in 2006, law enforcement officers have reported over 1,000 overdose reversals using Narcan.
Some individuals may fear that police will respond to a 911 call and that there will be criminal charges for themselves or for the person who overdosed. Those fears should NEVER keep someone from calling 911 immediately. It may be a matter of life or death.
In September 2011, the 911 Good Samaritan Law went into effect to address fears about a police response to an overdose. This law provides significant legal protection against criminal charge and prosecution for possession of controlled substances, as well as possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. This protection applies to both the person seeking assistance in good faith as well as to the person who has overdosed. Class A-1 drug felonies as well as sale or intent to sell controlled substances are not covered by the law.
If you have any questions please contact Southern Tier Overdose Prevention Program at (716) 372-0614.
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