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Narcan Abuse

Narcan Abuse

Sample Answer 

Narcan Abuse

Narcan is the brand name for Naloxone, which is a drug that is used in the reversal of an overdose from opioids. Though the drug is helpful, it can cause some side effects, including opioid withdrawal effects, which include chills, nausea, dizziness, restlessness, nervousness, and body aches, among others. The higher the doses of Narcan, the higher the risk of opioid withdrawal. Although rare, the severe side effects of Narcan may include loss of consciousness, seizures, hallucinations, and an irregular heartbeat (Recovery Worldwide, 2019). The deaths resulting from prescription opioid overdose have tripled in the last two decades in the US. Further, there was an 1170 percent increase in the number of Narcan prescriptions filled in the US between 2013 and 2015. The number of baby boomers that are misusing opioids is expected to reach 2.4% by 2020, which is double the figure reported in 2004 (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA, 2017).

An aging patient who has prescription opioids from a physician may not be aware of when they begin abusing the drugs. In this case scenario, the patient may not be aware that they had entered dangerous territory when the physician prescribed a large amount of Narcan for their use. The patient will need to seek medical treatment as he is addicted to opioids. Narcan stays in the body for approximately one hour, while some opioids may last for longer (up to 12 hours), which means the effects of the drug wears off while that of the opioid remains. When a patient consumes more opioids after taking Narcan, it increases the risk of another overdose. The patient, in this case, clearly depends on Narcan to satisfy their addiction; therefore, they will need a long-term treatment recovery program. The underlying reason for addiction will need to be addressed, and the patient should be taught how to cope in a healthier way and how to achieve lasting sobriety. The patient will thus be advised to sign up with an in-patient or out-patient program that will address the impact that opioid addiction has on their life and how to build skills that will enable them to remain clean in the long term (SAMHSA, 2015).


Recovery Worldwide (2019). Naloxone (Narcan).

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2017). Opioid Use in the Older Adult Population.


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Narcan Abuse

You are the pharmacist. A patient appears with a NARCAN script that will cost $100. The patient explains they are elderly and on a

limited budget. They ask you if it’s needed. How do you respond?

Narcan Abuse


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