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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

With fentanyl exposure on the rise and Hallow-weekend coming up, having Narcan on you can help save a life. 

What Is It?

Narcan or naloxone is the life-saving drug used to stop opioid overdoses, including those caused by heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid drugs. Naloxone is non-addictive, safe, and simple to use. It also begins to act almost immediately. Naloxone has extremely few side effects and does not cause any harm if there is an absence of opioids in the body. According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), “Carrying naloxone provides an extra layer of protection for those at a higher risk for overdose…Anyone can carry naloxone, give it to someone having an overdose, and potentially save a life. Bystanders such as friends, family, non-healthcare providers, and persons who use drugs can reverse an opioid overdose with naloxone.”

How To Use It

First, check for signs of an overdose. Symptoms may include shallow breathing, confusion, lessened alertness, and loss of consciousness. Other common symptoms are respiratory failure, small pupils, unresponsiveness, and blue skin or nails. Naloxone can be administered through a nasal spray (Narcan) or auto-injector into the outer thigh or another muscle. If you are using the spray, lay the person on their back and tilt their head up, gently put the nozzle’s tip into one nostril until the bottom of the recipient’s nose is touched by your fingertips on each side of the nozzle, then press the plunger firmly to give the full dosage. 

Where To Get It

SFSU offers free Narcan nasal spray along with a quick tutorial at the Health Promotion And Wellness Center, located next to the village stairs, across from Mary Ward Hall. It is also available as an over-the-counter medication and can be purchased at your local drug store or online. In addition, HPW offers free fentanyl testing strips which can help prevent fentanyl poisoning and overdose. 

In any circumstance where someone needs medical attention or an overdose is suspected, call 911 immediately.

Lilah Rivera

San Francisco '27

Hi! My name is Lilah. I am from San Diego, CA and I am a first year dietetics major at SFSU