Narcan, also known as naloxone, has helped immensely in the fight against addiction working as an overdose prevention tool. It reverses the effects of opioids on people who overdose. Since the onset of the opiate addiction epidemic, it has saved countless lives. However, is Narcan treatment enough without undergoing rehab? Let’s explore everything you need to know about Narcan treatment.
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What is Narcan Treatment?
Narcan (Naloxone) works by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain that are affected by opiates. As a result, it forces opiate molecules off the receptor and the symptoms of overdose reverse.
Naloxone can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. By working as an opioid antagonist, it can reverse the effects of other opioids. When someone is experiencing an overdose, it can restore normal respiration, especially when they suffer respiratory depression, and potentially save their lives.
Naloxone is available in three FDA-approved formulations including an injectable version that needs professional training to be administered. Another auto-injectable version (EVZIO) that’s considered an emergency medicine family members, friends, or emergency personnel can use. The last one is a pre-packaged Narcan nasal spray (NARCAN), which is a needle-free device that requires no assembly and can be used to treat an overdose.
The major pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens now make naloxone available without a personal prescription in all stores in the U.S. and the District of Columbia.
Candidates for naloxone are those who:
- Take high doses of prescription drugs or opioids for long-term management of chronic pain.
- Receive rotating opioid medication regimens.
- Have been discharged from emergency medical care following opioid poisoning or intoxication.
- Take certain extended-release or long-acting opioid medication.
- Those who have had a period of abstinence to include those recently released from incarceration.
The Purpose of Naloxone
It’s important to point out that NAloxone is not a treatment for addiction. While organizations like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) continues to work with the federal and state governments to increase access to Naloxone. They’re trying to promote education and training in communities, schools, and among first responders to prevent overdose deaths. However, some people argue that making medicines like Narcan so widely available to the public might prompt addicts o rely on it to prevent overdose death.
Again, Narcan treatment won’t help with drug or alcohol addiction as the drug does nothing to target the behavioral patterns that lead to addiction.
Does Narcan Work Without Drug and Alcohol Treatment?
Naloxone is often the first step down a lifelong road. A fatal overdose erases any chance of finding recovery. The value of naloxone is that it gives users a second chance. However, much debate remains on if Narcan alone is enough to stop the heroin epidemic.
Generally, after receiving Narcan, the overdose victim must go to the hospital. Medical oversite is beneficial because most opiates last longer than Narcan. The long-lasting effects of opioids mean that the user can slip back into overdose if doctors don’t treat them.
But what comes next? If the user doesn’t have access to any comprehensive treatment after an overdose, they run the risk of having another overdose shortly afterward.
Generally, comprehensive addiction treatment addresses the underlying causes of addiction. However, addiction treatment can be different for everyone. What is universal is that after someone receives Narcan, they need to have access to long-term therapy, support, and psychiatric and medical care. Narcan saves lives.
Comprehensive addiction treatment helps addicts and alcoholics build new lives in recovery and also reduces the risk of continual drug use.
What Does Comprehensive Addiction Treatment Mean?
It’s certainly important to treat the symptoms of addiction. No one can recover if they overdose and don’t get help. However, Narcan and even medical detox don’t address the major causes of addiction. As a result, they often don’t result in long-term recovery.
Helping patients to treat core issues is critical. For example, someone might become addicted to benzodiazepines or opiates because of an anxiety problem or chronic pain. Thus, to help a patient like this avoid relapse and attain recovery, it’s essential to help them find options for treating anxiety or chronic pain without narcotics.
Comprehensive addiction treatment incorporates:
- Medical detox and medication-assisted treatment
- Individual and group therapy
- Trauma management and support
- Life skills development
- Aftercare support
By integrating these major components into our addiction treatment center, we can offer different levels of care. We’re able to provide quality drug and alcohol treatment that’s thorough without being triggering. Comprehensive addiction treatment gives patients holistic, personalized, and effective care. As a result, these individualized treatment plans create higher engagement—the higher engagement results in higher success rates.
Every addict and alcoholic has individual needs and goals. The right drug rehab program will focus on these needs through individualized care. Additionally, the best drug rehab will help develop a comprehensive relapse prevention plan to help attain long-term recovery.
Thus, at Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we pride ourselves on offering individual, tailored programming for each of our patients. For example, this might involve medications, mental health support, family therapy, and more.
Also, every patient creates an individual treatment plan with their therapist to identify and address their needs. An overdose can be tragic, but it can also be a step towards recovery.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, please reach out for help immediately. It’s essential to have the support and supervision of drug addiction specialists by your side.
At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we believe in offering customized drug addiction treatment plans for those struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. We look at each treatment program on a case-by-case basis to cater to whatever your needs are to get better and walk towards recovery. From detoxification programs to group meetings and more, everyone in our team is committed to helping you win the struggle with addiction.