Narcan (Naloxone) Treatment and Rehab

As a crucial part of defeating the opioid epidemic, Narcan is the ultimate opiate antidote that saves lives when someone overdoses from opioids, due to their addiction. While Narcan itself is not addictive, the side effects of it’s consumption can be just as uncomfortable as some withdrawal symptoms. However, Narcan can be the first stepping stone to beginning an opioid-free life.
Also known by the generic name naloxone, Narcan is given to individuals to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Typically, opioids can be given as prescription painkillers or taken as an illegal drug like heroin, and addictions can form whenever opioids are misused or taken recreationally. When prescribed by a doctor, opioids are used to ease the pain a patient experiences and are usually used following surgeries but they can be used for other issues like chronic pain from cancer or injuries. However, due to the euphoric high that opioids  provide , people tend to misuse opioids and take more than the prescribed dosage. Alternatively, when opioids are not prescribed by a physician, people may illegally obtain opiates in order to achieve the associated sense of relief and euphoria. Opioids that people may abuse and become addicted to include:

  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Codeine
  • Opium
  • Tramadol
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydromorphone
  • Sufentanil
  • Oxymorphone
  • Methadone
  • Morphine

When an addiction to any kind of opioid occurs, the possibility of experiencing an overdose increases. When high doses of opioids are consumed, the chance of overdosing and experiencing respiratory depression (hyperventilation) increases. If ignored, respiratory depression can become so severe that an individual may fall unconscious, or even stop breathing altogether and die.

If a person reaches such a severe state, Narcan is given immediately to stop the overdose. While Narcan is extremely helpful to ensuring  people survive an accidental overdose, the drug kickstarts the detoxification process and ushers in the withdrawal symptoms that would normally occur during detox. The symptoms come on as strong as they would if someone were to cold turkey quit taking a drug, but they will begin as soon as the Narcan is administered.

Narcan is not the kind of drug that can be used to get high. Unless an opioid is in a person’s system, Narcan will otherwise not have any effects on their body. The only kind of effect Narcan provides is on someone who used  opiates, and it is the feeling of intensified withdrawal symptoms.

Narcan Treatment and Rehab
Many people who regularly misuse opioids do not want to have Narcan administered. This reluctance is because of the heightened withdrawal symptoms that are experienced after taking Narcan. To avoid the use of Narcan, and the need for it to be administered,  it is most beneficial to begin treating an opioid addiction at a rehab facility. Seeking treatment at a rehab facility reduces the risk of an overdose occurring which then reduces the need for Narcan to be given to the patient.

The Recovery Village offers an abundance of rehab locations throughout the nation to assist individuals who are fighting an opioid addiction. These rehab centers offer treatment teams that create a plan tailored specifically to each patient’s unique situation. Rehab facilities offered by The Recovery Village include:

  • Next Generation Village: Next Generation Village is located in Florida and focuses mainly on helping adolescents overcome addiction and offers various treatment options such as inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs.
  • Next Step Village: The Next Step Village is for individuals specifically looking for extra help in transitioning back into the community. This center, which is located in Florida, offers outpatient and intensive outpatient programs for those looking to continue their recovery.
  • Orlando Recovery Center: The Orlando Recovery Center aims to help individuals struggling with addictions and with any other co-occurring mental illnesses they may be battling as well. This location offers inpatient, outpatient and partial hospitalization programs.
  • The Recovery Village Ridgefield: The Recovery Village Ridgefield in Washington offers outpatient and aftercare programs for people looking to continue treatment.
  • The Recovery Village Columbus: Located in Ohio, The Recovery Village Columbus provides inpatient and outpatient treatment, along with aftercare programs.
  • The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake: The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake in Colorado offers inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs for individuals looking to enter recovery.
  • IAFF Center of Excellence:  The IAFF Center of Excellence offers inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs to IAFF members looking to manage their behavioral health issues so they can return back to work.
  • The Recovery Village: The Recovery Village in Florida provides help to people  looking to begin treatment to fight a substance use disorder. Inpatient, outpatient, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs are available.
To avoid having to use Narcan, it is highly recommended to seek guidance from a medical professional. Relying on Narcan to stop the deadly consequences of consuming too many opioids is not healthy, nor is it safe. Also, it is extremely uncomfortable when it comes to dealing with the withdrawal symptoms that appear quickly. The most beneficial way to regain a healthy lifestyle is through proper treatment. There are a variety of programs that someone could go through in order to begin a drug-free life. The Recovery Village offers different treatment options for people looking to fight an opioid addiction and steer clear of Narcan usage.
The Recovery Village offers patients who are looking for a focused form of treatment the option to receive inpatient treatment. During this treatment, patients can receive 24-hour care and supervision to ensure they are comfortable and safe during their detox and withdrawal. While attending rehab at one of these facilities, patients can go through one-on-one therapy, group counseling and explore various recreational activities. The amount of time that treatment takes depends on the severity of the opioid addiction and how much time the treatment team feels is needed for the patient to enter recovery.
If taking time off of work to live in a rehabilitation facility is not an option, The Recovery Village also offers outpatient treatment. Around-the-clock care may not be a part of this kind of program, but the care provided is just as detailed and intricate as inpatient. This effective form of treatment allows patients to commute to a facility  to work with their treatment team and still continue with their everyday responsibilities.
While there is no actual process to treat Narcan, it’s better to treat the opioid addiction instead. In order for the correct treatment plan to be put in place, prospective patients must first be evaluated by medical professionals. This is an important step because it helps physicians and therapists get a chance to assess the addiction and the severity of the addiction.

After a patient has been evaluated, they will enter the detox phase. This is when opioids are no longer being consumed and body works to re-balance its chemical composition. During this time, patients can expect to feel the same kinds of symptoms that they would feel if given a Narcan injection during an overdose. However, the severity of the symptoms and how soon they appear will not be as harsh as they would be with the Narcan. Symptoms can include:

  • Body aches
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Heightened heart rate
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever

The kinds of symptoms that are experienced will depend on how strong the opioid addiction is. The treatment team will work one-on-one with the patient to ensure that the detox experience is as comfortable as possible. It’s important to stay calm and patient during this stage because the body and brain are attempting to function without the use of opioids.

Once detoxification is complete and opioids are out of the body, aftercare begins. This is when a patient takes all the tools and skills that were taught during treatment and apply them back into life in their community. However, just because treatment ends does not mean that the work is done. Addiction is a mental health issue, rather than a physical one. Even though a person’s  body may be rid of the drug, the mind may still have cravings. In this case, it may be suggested to attend regular therapy sessions to help improve recovery-positive skills and reinforce a person’s ability to stand up against any triggers that could occur in their community.

If you or a loved one are looking for a way to stop having to use Narcan to counter the consequences of an opioid addiction, call The Recovery Village. Calls to our representatives are completely free and confidential. Begin your journey to recovery today.

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CESAR (Center for Substance Abuse Research). “Cocaine.” CESAR (Center for Substance Abuse Research), 29 Oct. 2013, Accessed 10 Mar. 2017.

Doward, Jamie. “Warning of Extra Heart Dangers from Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol.” The Guardian, 7 Nov. 2009, Accessed 10 Mar. 2017.