When an overdose occurs from overuse of an opioid, the brain starts to shut down, breathing slows, and the heart rate falls. As this is happening, the use of an opioid antagonist, like naloxone may rapidly reverse the drug’s effects. As a direct result, breathing and heart rate are restored. This type of medication is a lifesaving, emergency tool. At Red Oak Recovery, we can help you overcome the opioid addiction that put you in this place. Call our team today at 828.382.9699 for more information about our treatment programs.
What Naloxone Is and How It Works
As an opioid antagonist, naloxone works to reverse an ingested opioid drug’s effects during an overdose. It does this by binding with the opioid receptors, causing a reversal of the overdose’s symptoms. This drug can work quickly. It can slow or stop an overdose from occurring and has saved thousands of lives as a result. It can be used for many opioids, including prescription medications and illicit forms, including heroin.
To work, emergency workers must give a person an injection of the medication into a vein, fatty tissues, or the muscle itself. In some situations, it is necessary to give more than one to counteract the drug’s presence. This may also be necessary if a person has overdosed previously. Only a trained medical provider or emergency response person should provide these injections, though other products may be available to others to use.
What Types of Naloxone Are Available?
While the injectable product is the most commonly used, there are other options available. A newer option is a prefilled auto-injection device. These are easier for people who do not have medical training to use, like a family member. This type of injection is done into the thigh muscle. Another option is a pre-packaged nasal spray. This is also easier to use than other products.
What If Overdose Risks Don’t Improve
While the use of naloxone is very effective at overcoming an overdose, it does not cure addiction, dependence, or the risk of further overdoses. In some cases, it increases the risk of a fatal overdose, especially if it is overused. It should never be assumed that a person using an opioid drug will be able to give themselves this injection. That’s not possible due to the impact and limitations occurring as a result of the overdose.
Also, there are times when naloxone may not work. This can lead to a fatal overdose unless medical help is available to restore a person’s heart rate and breathing.
Overcoming Addiction to Opioid Drugs
Those who are using opioids can find help. The only way to prevent overdose is to seek addiction treatment. If you are struggling with the symptoms of addiction, reach out to our team at Red Oak Recovery for help:
- Running out of medications early
- Using opioids daily or thinking about doing so
- Feeling cravings when you do not use
- Intense pain or withdrawal symptoms when not using
- Trying and failing to stop using
How Can Red Oak Recovery Help You Overcome Addiction?
Our team is a dedicated team of experienced clinicians who can provide outstanding support for overcoming an addiction to opioid drugs. That can include treatment through programs such as:
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Naloxone saves lives when an overdose occurs. Yet, it is a high-risk drug in itself and doesn’t always work. As an opioid antagonist, it may be what you need in an emergency. If you are using opioid drugs consistently, it will not cure addiction or dependence. Professional treatment can. At Red Oak Recovery, we offer the supportive environment you need to break through this addiction. Call 828.382.9699 for immediate help or connect with us online.