Naloxone, Harm Reduction, and Substance Use Disorder

narcan saves lives

Evidence and research have shown that Naloxone is a no risk lifesaving reversal agent for Opioid overdoses. Nasal Naloxone is available and is FREE at Burke County Health Department to any person who may be at risk of experiencing an overdose, or at risk for being present while an overdose is occurring. Anyone can carry naloxone, give it to someone experiencing an overdose, and potentially save a life. Research has not shown harmful effects to someone as a result of administering Naloxone, even if they’re overdosing on drugs other than opioids, so it’s always best to use it if you think someone is overdosing. 


NC Naloxone and Harm Reduction Resource

CDC: Lifesaving Naloxone

NC Safe To Call Campaign

Drug-related Overdose treatment; limited Immunity Law

Medical Treatment; limited Immunity Law

Senate Bill 20 (2013)

More Powerful NC Campaign  

What is an Opioid?

John Hopkins defines opioids as a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant and that work in the brain to produce a variety of effects, including the relief of pain with many of these drugs. Opioids may come as a prescription from your physician OR may be found through non-prescription, illegal methods. Whether an Opioid is prescribed, non-prescribed, swallowed, injected, smoked, etc. it has the potential to be addictive and lethal if misused.  

What is the Opioid Crisis and WHY does it matter?

Howard Koh, member of the Stanford-Lancet Commission on the North American Opioid Crisis briefly describes the Opioid Crisis as such:

“The current opioid crisis ranks as one of the most devastating public health catastrophes of our time. It started in the mid-1990s when the powerful agent OxyContin, promoted by Purdue Pharma and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), triggered the first wave of deaths linked to use of legal prescription opioids. Then came a second wave of deaths from a heroin market that expanded to attract already addicted people. More recently, a third wave of deaths has arisen from illegal synthetic opioids like fentanyl. In addition to the crushing public health burden of preventable deaths, millions more are affected by related problems involving homelessness, joblessness, truancy, and family disruption, for example.

The pandemic has both masked and amplified this crisis. Rising death trends are linked to drivers such as the anxiety and isolation of COVID-19 as well as continued lack of access to quality care and prevention. The crisis seems unchecked. It demands an urgent, unified, and comprehensive response”. 


Opioid and Overdose Data (NCDHHS)

White House FACT SHEET: Addressing Addiction and the Overdose Epidemic

Responding to the Opoid Crisis in North America and beyond: recommendations of the Stanford-Lancet Commission

DREAMLAND - The True Tale of Americas Opioid Epidemic