Naloxone is a non-scheduled drug, which means it is not addictive and cannot be abused to create euphoric effects. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and needs help, call 800-584-3274 Who Answers? now to find safe, effective rehab programs where you can begin your journey of recovery.
Naloxone and Its Uses
According to the National Library of Medicine, naloxone is used “along with emergency medical treatment to reverse the life-threatening effects of a known or suspected opiate (narcotic) overdose.” The drug can also be used after surgery to reverse the effects of opioids administered for surgery, and it is administered to newborns who are exhibited the symptoms of neonatal abstinence syndrome. Naloxone is an effective medication for rerouting the effects of opioids on the brain and body, specifically when these effects have become severe or dangerous.
Is Naloxone Addictive?
Naloxone, unlike opioid drugs, is not addictive if abused, nor does it cause euphoric effects. Therefore, those who might try abusing it in order to experience the effects often associated with opioids will not experience these. In fact, those who are dependent on opioids and take naloxone will immediately experience withdrawal symptoms, which feel similar to the flu and can be incredibly uncomfortable and even painful.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means it reacts in the opposite way that opioids do. When a person has taken a large dose of an opioid drug, the drug attaches to the individual’s opioid receptors causing
- Slowed, shallow, or stopped breathing
When naloxone is administered, it breaks the connection between the drug and the receptors in the brain and body. This what causes the individual to experience immediate withdrawal symptoms. While this can be uncomfortable, it is a necessary treatment in the case of overdose.
Naloxone is Safe and Beneficial
We are starting to understand how helpful access to naloxone is for fighting the opioid overdose and addiction crisis in this country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, expanding the use of this drug could “reduce drug overdose deaths and save lives.” In many states, there is now a pre-filled naloxone injection device that individuals can buy at drug stores if they are concerned that they or a loved one of theirs could potentially overdose on opioids.
Because naloxone does not cause euphoria––or addiction––it cannot be abused. This makes it safe to keep in one’s household in case someone who uses opioids overdoses. Naloxone does have certain side effects, like all drugs, and it is important to take it in the doses recommended. However, it is does not cause the euphoric effects narcotics can cause, nor is it addictive.
Seek Help Today
If you are struggling with an opioid use disorder––or know someone who is––now is the time to seek help in a professional rehab center. Call 800-584-3274 Who Answers? to speak with a treatment advisor who can match you with a rehab program that will suit your needs.