PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY CONCERNING FENTANYL AND FENTANYL-LACED SUBSTANCES

Information for Naloxone

In July 2014, Tennessee became the 18th state to pass and support a "Good Samaritan" civil immunity law centered on the lifesaving medicine Naloxone. Naloxone, also known as NarcanTM, is an opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. The legislation went into effect on July 1, 2014. It has four key components:

Grants immunity from civil suit to providers who prescribe Naloxone to a patient, family member, friend or other person in a position to assist giving the medicine Naloxone.
Allows the Department of Health to provide training and instruction on how to use Naloxone.
Requires you to receive basic instruction, including taking the quiz and printing the certificate, on how to give Naloxone.
Grants a "Good Samaritan" civil immunity for administering the medicine to someone they reasonably believe is overdosing on an opioid.

Naloxone (or NarcanTM) is a proven tool in the battle against drug abuse and overdose death. When too much of an opiod medication is taken, it can slow breathing to a dangerously low rate. When breathing slows too much, overdose death can occur. Naloxone can reverse this potentially fatal situation by allowing the person to breathe normally again.

Naloxone is not a dangerous medicine. However, proper training is required by law. Any time an overdose is suspected, first responders should be notified by calling 911 immediately. It is important to know that some patients may awake disoriented or agitated after receiving Naloxone. This is a good sign, but calling 911 is still very important to help the person survive.

Special thanks to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, a multidisciplinary research center at the University of Washington. Its mission is to support and facilitate research and research dissemination in the field of alcohol and drug abuse.