How Narcan Works to Save Lives
Narcan, also known as naloxone, has helped immensely in the fight against addiction. It reverses the effects of opioids on people who overdose. Since the onset of the opiate addiction epidemic, it has saved countless lives. Does Narcan work without treatment? As valuable as Narcan is, unless it’s combined with comprehensive addiction treatment, it’s only a temporary solution.
Narcan works by binding to the 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. However, after Narcan saves someone’s life, what’s next? Generally, best practice after a drug overdose is to ensure the addict receives counseling services in conjunction with their life-saving medical services. Comprehensive addiction treatment helps to address the root cause of drug overdose. Additionally, it helps to create an evidence-based relapse prevention plan to reduce the risk of future use.
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. Can Narcan alone, work without the support of treatment services?
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?
There are countless factors that can contribute to addiction. These include:
- Family history and also genetics
- Trauma and grief
- Negative core beliefs
- Early exposure to drugs and alcohol
- Becoming reliant on medications for a medical or mental health condition
- Lack of support
- Mental health issues
- High-risk drug abuse that leads to dependence
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.
Beyond treating the symptoms of addiction, treatment includes:
- Processing trauma, grief, and also shame
- Learning new coping skills
- Medication management
- Building life skills for employment or education
- Challenging negative thinking
- Managing emotions
- A support network
- Relapse prevention
While Narcan might be the first step, recovery involves long-term action and support.
Narcan Is Most Effective When Treatment Services Follow
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. Overdose can be tragic, but it can also be a step towards recovery. If you have reached a point at which you no longer want to suffer the pain of addiction, give us a call today. Any addict or alcoholic can attain recovery with the right help. We are ready to assist you with the next steps.