Counseling Group

What is naloxone?

Naloxone (also known as Narcan®) is a medication called an “opioid antagonist” used to counter the effects of opioid overdose, for example morphine and heroin overdose. Naloxone binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of opioids. It can very quickly restore normal breathing to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin, fentanyl, or prescription opioid pain medications. Naloxone is an extremely safe medication that only has a noticeable reversal of effect in people with opioids in their system. The medication has no effect if opioids are absent. It is safe to administer to anyone with a suspected overdose.


Please remember to call 9-1-1 immediately after use to ensure proper medical treatment. The effects of naloxone can wear off and the person can return to an overdose state. 

Who should carry naloxone?

Although traditionally administered by emergency response personnel, naloxone can be administered by minimally trained laypeople, which makes it ideal for treating overdose in people who have been prescribed opioid pain medication and in people who use heroin and other opioids. You may consider carrying naloxone if:

  • You, a friend, or family member have a prescription for opioid pain medication.

  • You, a friend, or family member misuse opioid pain medications, or use opioid pain medications that are not prescribed to you/them.

  • You, a friend, or family member have a history of using any type of illegal drugs.

How do I get free naloxone?

FREE Nasal Narcan (naloxone) is available to anyone in Ohio who is, or knows someone who is at risk of overdose. To order naloxone by mail, please complete the following steps:

Step 1: Watch a short (16 minutes) training video on how to use Nasal Narcan.

Step 2: Complete a brief demographic survey. 

Step 3: Enter an address where we can mail your free Nasal Narcan (or let us know if you want to pick it up). 

Your free Nasal Narcan kit will be mailed to the address you provide within 3 business days. The kit will arrive in discrete packaging, so no one will be able to tell what is inside. 


Funding Statement

This work is funded in whole or in part by a grant awarded by the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Health Improvement and Wellness, Violence and Injury Prevention Section, and as a sub-award of a grant issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) under the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant, Federal Award Identification Number H79TI081684, and CFDA number 93.788, and as a sub-award of a grant issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Overdose Data to Action grant, CFDA number 93.136.

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Erie County Health Department

420 Superior Street

Sandusky, OH 44870


© 2020 by Erie County Health Department