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What is Naloxone?

Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose caused by opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, and other prescription opioid medications. Most commonly given as a nasal spray called Narcan, naloxone is safe and easy to use.

How Does Naloxone Work and How Do You Use It?

Naloxone quickly reverses an opioid overdose by temporarily blocking the effects of opioids in the body. Naloxone can restore normal breathing within 2-3 minutes in a person whose breath has slowed, or even stopped as a result of opioid overdose. More than one dose of naloxone may be required when stronger opioids like fentanyl are involved. 

What are the Different Forms of Naloxone?

Naloxone comes in two forms.

Nasal Spray 

prefilled device that spray medication into the nose



syringe and vial of naloxone for intramuscular injection or auto-injector prefilled device that inject medication into the outer thigh

Why Carry Naloxone?

Naloxone saves lives. Naloxone is easy to use and light to carry. With this tool, anyone can take action to prevent overdose deaths. Naloxone won't harm someone if given to someone not experiencing an opioid overdose, having no effect if there are no opioids present in the body. So it is always best to use if you think someone is experiencing an overdose. 

Good Samaritan Laws in California also protect you and the individual from arrest for personal possession of drugs or paraphernalia as long as all parties are cooperative with the first responders on scene.  

Standing Orders by our local Health Officer and California Health Officer also provide protection of the individual responding to an overdose and administering naloxone from liability, much like with CPR.

Who Should Carry Naloxone?

With the increase in drug overdose deaths mainly due to the opioid fentanyl, now more than ever is it important for anyone to carry naloxone as an overdose can present anywhere at anytime. If you or someone you know is at an increased risk for opioid overdose due to use of drugs, especially those struggling with opioid use disorder (OUD), you should have naloxone on you and at home. 

Carrying naloxone is like carrying a epinephrine or more commonly known as the brand name EpiPen for someone with allergies. It provides the much needed tools for response for those at a higher risk for overdose. 

Where to Get Naloxone?


  • Visit any local pharmacy without a prescription, the pharmacist can furnish naloxone to you 

  • Most insurances cover the cost of naloxone including Medi-Cal



  • Visit

  • Choose which type of naloxone you would like to receive 

  • Watch a 4 minute training video 

  • Fill out a 4 question quiz, to ensure you watched the training video 

  • Fill out form and naloxone will be mailed to your house for free


San Benito County Opioid Task Force 

  • Call 831-637-5367 or email to schedule a training and obtain a free box (2 doses) of Narcan

Over- the Counter at your Local Pharmacy 

  • Target, Rite Aid, CVS, etc about $45

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