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Naloxone (Narcan®) nasal spray should be given to anyone showing signs of opioid poisoning:

  • Gurgling, gasping, snorting
  • Blue lips or fingertips
  • Won't wake up
  • Pale, gray skin
  • Slow or no breathing
Box of naloxone nasal spray

The Good Samaritan Law protects you and the victim from drug possession charges.

Naloxone Facts

Naloxone PSA

136 people die from opioid overdoses every day. With fentanyl being slipped into MDMA, cocaine, meth, and others, users may not know they’ve taken opioids until it’s too late. But naloxone (also known as Narcan) is an opioid reversal tool that can be used by anyone to give life-saving medicine right at the scene.

Training Videos

Opioid Reversal Kits

Our wall-mounted kits include Naloxone (Narcan) nasal spray, a CPR mask, and step-by-step instructions in English and Spanish.

How to Use Naloxone (PDF)CĂłmo usar Naloxone (PDF)
Opioid Reversal Kit

Request a Kit

Complete this form to request an Opioid Reversal Kit for your business or organization.

Request Opioid Reversal Kit (Naloxone/Narcan)

Naloxone in Tacoma

Icon: Vending Machine
3 Narcan Vending Machines
Icon: Reversal Kit
23 Opioid Reversal Kits

Training Videos

Camille Hoorn discusses ways to prevent an overdose, how to use Narcan when someone is experiencing an overdose, and how to test for fentanyl.

Step-by-step Instructions

1: Look for the signs

Opioid overdose is common among those who use heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, fentanyl, and morphine.
If an overdose is suspected, grind knuckles into their sternum (breastbone).

2: Call 911

Just say, “someone is unresponsive and not breathing.”
Be sure to give a specific address and description of your location.

3: Give naloxone

Naloxone is appropriate for ALL opioid overdoses, including fentanyl.

  • Lay the person on their back.
  • Hold naloxone spray with your thumb on the red plunger.
  • Insert the nozzle in one nostril.
  • Press the plunger firmly to give the person a dose.
  • If they do not respond within 2-3 minutes, give a second dose.
  • With fentanyl overdoses, multiple doses may be required.
  • The goal of naloxone is to restore breathing, not complete arousal.

4: Give Rescue Breathing

Continue to provide resuscitation while naloxone takes effect.

Rescue Breathing

  • Clear their mouth and throat of obstructions.
  • Tilt their head back and pinch their nose closed.
  • Place a CPR mask over their mouth and nose.
  • Blow slowly into the CPR mask valve.
  • Watch for the person’s chest (not the stomach) to rise.
  • Remove your mouth, allowing them to exhale.
  • Repeat one breath every 5 seconds.

5: Monitor

Most people return to spontaneous breathing in 2-3 minutes.

  • Naloxone effects may be short, and overdose symptoms may return.
  • Get them to an emergency department as quickly as possible.
  • If naloxone doesn’t work, they most likely are not overdosing on an opioid.

Naloxone Facts

How do I arouse an unconscious person?+
DON’T slap the person. If you cannot wake the person by shouting, rubbing your knuckles on the sternum, or light pinching, the person may be unconscious.
Should I put them in a cold shower?+
DON’T put the person into a cold bath or shower. This increases the risk of falling, drowning, or shock.
Should I make them vomit?+
DON’T try to make the person vomit drugs. Choking or inhaling vomit can cause a fatal injury.
How many different forms of naloxone are available?+

If by “form” you mean “form of administration” there are two “forms,” intramuscular and intranasal. Intramuscular (IM) is injected via syringe into a large muscle, e.g.,  the butt, thigh, or arm. Intranasal is sprayed up the nose. Both methods of administration are equally effective. 

  • Injectable brands of naloxone are offered by several different companies. Typically, the proper dose must be drawn up from a vial. Usually, it is injected with a needle into muscle, although it also may be administered into a vein or under the skin. 

  • Prepackaged Nasal Spray (generic naloxone, Narcan®, Kloxxado®) comes in a prefilled, needle-free device that requires no assembly and is sprayed into one nostril while the person lays on their back. This device can also be easier for people without formal training to administer. 

  • The FDA recently approved ZimhiTM, a single-dose, prefilled syringe that can be injected into the muscle (IM) or under the skin i.e., subcutaneously.  

  • For more information about naloxone please see: https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/naloxone.

Tacoma Needle Exchange carries both intramuscular (IM) and Nasal Spray (Intranasal) forms of naloxone. We encourage people to carry whichever “form” of naloxone (IM or intranasal) they are comfortable administering.




Can someone overdosing use naloxone on themselves?+

Short answer: No. According to the CDC, “you can’t use naloxone on yourself”. This is why, if you use opioids, it is critical that the people around you know that you have naloxone and they know how to administer it properly. At Tacoma Needle Exchange we tell people you don’t carry naloxone for yourself, but for your loved ones and your community.

Will naloxone work on all drugs?+

Naloxone only works on opioids e.g., heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, and morphine. It has no effect on non-opioids such as methamphetamine, cocaine, benzodiazepines, etc.

However, if you witness someone experiencing overdose-like symptoms i.e., extremely pale face and/or feel clammy to the touch, limpness, fingernails or lips develop or have a purple or blue color, vomiting or making gurgling noises, they cannot be awakened, are unable to speak, or their breathing or heartbeat slows or stops, you should assume they are experiencing an overdose and administer naloxone and call 911.

I do not use drugs. Should I carry naloxone?+

Yes. Recognizing the signs of an opioid overdose and knowing how ro properly administer naloxone is not only something people-who-use-drugs should do. Naloxone can/should be carried by anyone that is capable of being trained and comfortable administering it. By getting trained to recognize and properly respond to the signs of an opioid overdose you could save a life.

The Washington State Project to Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose (WA-PDO), a five-year project supported by the WA State Health Care Authority/Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery with funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, documented 9,526 opioid overdose reversals between Sept. 1, 2016 – August 31, 2021.  9,240 (97%) of these overdoses were reversed by lay-responders, i.e., regular people not first responders i.e., Police, Paramedics, EMTs, etc. Anyone with the proper training and naloxone can save a life. 

Can I overdose from touching fentanyl?+
Can I inject naloxone directly into the heart?+

Hell no! Don’t do that! While the heart is a muscle, IM naloxone should only be injected into the buttocks, thigh, upper arm, i.e., a large muscle that is not the heart.