How Naloxone Works

  • Opiates attach to opioid receptors in the brain, producing an immediate rush followed by a feeling of extreme relaxation and a reduction of pain.
 
  • By blocking the opiod receptors the chemical messages in the brain are slowed down considerably resulting in depressed breathing.
 
  • Failure to breathe is what leads to death, and can be complicated by a drop in blood pressure, heart failure or arrhythymia which can starve the body and the brain of necessary oxygen
 
  • Death from an opioid overdose usually occurs within ½ - 3 hours after the lethal dose is taken.
 
  • Naloxone reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, by knocking the opiates from the opioid receptors, restoring breathing, and providing time for emergency health care providers to arrive at the scene to save a life.