What are Opioids and Naloxone/Narcan?

  • Opioids are generally used to treat pain and include both prescription painkillers and heroin.
  • Naloxone temporarily blocks the effects of opioids, and can reverse overdose. Naloxone only works if opioids are in the body and has no effects on alcohol or other drugs. It takes 2-5 minutes to start working, and may require more than one dose. The effects of naloxone last for between 30-90 minutes. Naloxone may cause an opioid dependent person to go into withdrawal (e.g. nausea, vomiting, agitation, muscle aches). These symptoms will go away as the naloxone wears off.

How do I get Naloxone and Other Supplies?  

        What is an Opioid Emergency or Overdose?

        • Opioids can cause a person’s breathing to slow or even stop - this is considered an overdose. All opioids put people at risk.
          • Call 911. NOTE: The New York State 911 Good Samaritan Law provides substantial protection to anyone calling 911 to save a life, even if drugs are present.
          • Follow dispatcher instructions. 
          • Give naloxone
          • If no reaction in 3 minutes, give second dose. 
          • After giving naloxone, stay with the person for 3 hours (as long as you can) or until help arrives. Make sure the person does not take more opioids even if they don’t feel well. If the person is still unresponsive, lay them on their side, wait for help. If you know how, do rescue breathing and/or CPR or follow 911 dispatcher instructions.

        Free Trainings

        More Information & Resources

        Related Programs


          Cheryll Moore
          Medical Care Administrator
          95 Franklin St., Room 911
          Buffalo, NY 14202
          Phone: (716) 858-7695
          Fax: (716) 858-8701

          01/27/2023 - 10:52 am