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Boreal Community Media

Carry Narcan: Anyone Can Save a Life

May 13, 2024 12:24PM ● By Content Editor

Photo: NEXT Distro via

By Andrea Orest, Public Health Educator, Cook County Public Health and Human Services - May 13, 2024

Wondering what Naloxone and Narcan are used for and who should carry it?  You’re not alone!  

As shared by the Steve Rummler Hope Network, “Naloxone is a safe and effective medication that is used to reverse an opioid overdose in as little as 2-5 minutes.  It cannot be used to get high, is not addictive, and is not harmful to someone who doesn’t have opioids in their system.”  Naloxone is administered via syringe, and Narcan is a brand-name opioid overdose reversal medication that is administered nasally.  These medications provide life-saving support for someone potentially experiencing an overdose.  The medications bind to opioid receptors in the brain to reverse and block the effects of opioids, allowing a person experiencing an overdose to restore normal breathing.  

As with any medical emergency, an overdose can happen anytime, anywhere – bars, restaurants, parks, schools, community events, parties, or just going for a walk in the community.  Even if you don’t know someone who uses opioids, carrying Naloxone or Narcan is important.  The more community members that have this life-saving medication available, the more likely it is that a person experiencing an overdose will survive.   Free training on overdose education and reversal medications is available via Cook County Higher Education in conjunction with their monthly CPR/AED/First Aid courses.  The Steve Rummler Hope Network also has free online training available.  

You might also be wondering, is it legal to carry Naloxone and Narcan?  The answer is, yes, it is legal to carry and administer!  The Minnesota Department of Health’s website shares that Minnesota has a Good Samaritan Law, known as Steve’s Law, which protects someone who administers Naloxone or Narcan and calls 911 in good faith from prosecution.  

Free and confidential Naloxone and Narcan are available to the community at the Cook County Courthouse.  Harm Reduction cabinets are located in all four restrooms in the Courthouse, and the cabinets include other supplies, as available, such as Fentanyl and Xylazine test strips and sterile syringes.  Grand Portage Human Services, Harm Reduction Sisters, and Recovery Alliance Duluth also have supplies and resources available.  Never Use Alone, an overdose prevention lifeline, is another resource available to people who use substances.

A major key to overdose prevention is safer use.  If you or someone you know is looking for safer use information, it can be found on our website, alongside other information on prevention, treatment, and recovery initiatives.

If you are interested in learning more about this initiative, contact Andrea Orest, Cook County Public Health Educator, [email protected], or 218-220-5536.

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