Harm Reduction

Saving Lives And Creating Positive Change

arm reduction is an evidence-based approach that is critical to engaging with individuals with substance use challenges. Promise Resource Network provides peer support, life-saving tools, and information to create positive change and potentially save lives.

Our Recovery Hub has Narcan (Naloxone) and other safe supplies available at no cost. Call us to learn more or provide training: 704.390.7709

Naloxone FAQ

What Is Naloxone?

Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids—including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications—when given in time

There are two forms of naloxone that anyone can use without medical training or authorization:

  1. Nasal spray – Prefilled devices that spray medication into the nose.
  2. Injectable – Medication (solution) given by injection into a muscle or under the skin.

How Much Does Naloxone Cost & Where Can I Get It?

The cost varies depending on where you get the naloxone, how you get it, and what type you get. Check with your insurance provider to see if naloxone is covered under your plan.

PRN provides naloxone at no cost.

Is Naloxone Easy To Use?

Yes, naloxone is easy to use and medical training is not required. Check out CDC’s videos on how to use naloxone nasal spray and how to use injectable naloxone

What To Do If You Think Someone Is Overdosing:

  • Call 911 immediately.*
  • Administer naloxone, if available.
  • Try to keep the person awake and breathing.
  • Lay the person on their side to prevent choking.
  • Stay with the person until emergency assistance arrives.

*Most states have laws that may protect a person who is overdosing or the person who called for help from legal trouble.

Does Naloxone Have Side Effects?

Naloxone can (but does not always) cause withdrawal symptoms or unpleasant physical reactions, in people who are physically dependent on opioids. Withdrawal symptoms may include fever, anxiety, irritability, rapid heart rate, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and tremors.

Can I Use Naloxone On Myself?

No, Naloxone is administered to someone after an overdose has occurred. Because the individual who overdosed is likely unconscious and/or their movement and breathing are restricted, they would need assistance.

Can Naloxone Prevent An Overdose?

Naloxone is a safe antidote to a suspected overdose and, when given in time, can save a life.

Is Naloxone Addictive?

No, Naloxone is safe to use and is not addictive

How many doses of Naloxone Do I Give If Someone Is Overdosing?

Naloxone is a fast-acting drug that can reverse opioid overdose and restore normal breathing within 2-3 minutes.3 Additional doses of naloxone may be needed for larger quantities of opioids or more potent opioids, like fentanyl.

Is Naloxone Harmful?

Naloxone won’t harm someone if they’re overdosing on opioids or other drugs, so it’s always best to use it if you think someone is overdosing.

Can Anyone Carry Naloxone?

Yes, anyone can purchase and/or carry naloxone to help respond to an overdose. It is not just for people with an opioid or other substance use disorder. Having naloxone available allows bystanders to help save lives by preventing a fatal overdose.

How To Use: Naloxone

Injectable Naloxone

1. Try To Wake The Person

If they are unresponsive, then follow the next steps to administer Naloxone. 

2. Remove Cap From The Glass Vial

3. Place Needle Into The Vial

4. Draw All The Naloxone Into Syringe

5. Insert Needle All The Way Into The Shoulder Or Thigh Muscle

6. Inject The Full Dose of Naloxone

  • If the person is still unresponsive after 1 minute, repeat steps 1-6.
  • Perform rescue breathing (one breath every 5 seconds) between dose. 
  • When calling 911, rather than saying the person is overdosing, say that the person is not breathing and/or unresponsive.

Naloxone Spray

Step 1: Identify Opioid Overdose And Check For Response

ASK person if he or she is okay and shout name.

SHAKE shoulders and firmly rub the middle of their chest.

  • CHECK for signs of opioid overdose:
  • Will not wake up or respond to your voice or touch
  • Breathing is very slow, irregular, or has stopped
    Center part of their eye is very small, sometimes called “pinpoint pupils”

Lay the person on their back to receive a dose of Narcan Spray.

Step 2: Give Narcan Nasal Spray

REMOVE NARCAN Nasal Spray from the box.

  • Peel back the tab with the circle to open the NARCAN Nasal Spray.

HOLD the NARCAN nasal spray with your thumb on the bottom of the plunger and your first and middle fingers on either side of the nozzle.

GENTLY insert the tip of the nozzle into either nostril.

  • Tilt the person’s head back and provide support under the neck with your hand. Gently insert the tip of the nozzle into one nostril, until your fingers on either side of the nozzle are against the bottom of the person’s nose.

PRESS the plunger firmly to give the dose of NARCAN nasal spray

  • Remove the NARCAN nasal spray from the nostril after giving the dose.

Step 3: Call For Emergency Medical Help, Evaluate & Support

GET emergency help right away.
MOVE the person on their side (recovery position) after giving the NARCAN nasal spray.
WATCH the person closely.

  • If the person does not respond by waking up, to voice or touch, or breathing normally another dose may be given. NARCAN nasal spray may be dosed every 2-3 minutes, if available.

REPEAT STEP 2 using a new NARCAN nasal spray to give another dose in the other nostril.

If additional NARCAN nasal sprays are available, repeat step 2 every 2 to 3 minutes until the person responds or emergency medical help is received.

How To Use: Fentanyl & Xylazine Testing Strips

What Are Fentanyl Or Xylazine Test Strips?

Test strips can tell you if your drugs contain fentanyl or xylazine but not know how much there is or how strong it is. 

It can also prevent overdose if used correctly and with other risk reduction practices.  

Why Should I Test My Drugs For Fentanyl/Xylazine?

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that increases risk of overdose.

Fentanyl is commonly found in heroin. It is also present in cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, ketamine and pills from nonmedical sources.

Fentanyl cannot be detected by sight, taste, smell or touch.

Knowing if the drugs you plan to use contain fentanyl can lower your risk of overdose.

Tips For Testing Your Drugs

Do not use test strips more than once.

Finely crush pills and tablets, add water to the powder and mix thoroughly.

If you do not want to test the entire pill, break it in half and test a portion from the middle..

Step 1: Choose Your Option

Option 1

  • Dissolve all the drugs you plan to use in water by following the instructions in Step 2.
  • This is the most accurate way to test your drugs since fentanyl or xylazine are not always mixed evenly throughout. If you cannot test your drugs this way, try Options 2 or 3.
  • After testing your drugs this way, you can drink them, snort them using a clean nasal spray device or wait until the water evaporates to use them.

Option 2

  • Finely crush your drugs on a clean surface.
  • Put the crushed drugs in a small plastic bag and shake the bag  to mix them.
  • Empty the bag and put your drugs to the side. A small amount of drug residue should be left in the bag
  • Add water to the bag by following the instructions in Step 2.   

Option 3 

  • Put 10 milligrams (mg) of  your drugs ( enough to cover Abrahams Lincoln’s hair on a penny ) in a clean, dry container. 

Step 2: Add water

Add Water to your drugs  and mix them up.

  • For Meth, MMDA & Ecstasy, use 1 teaspoon of water for every 10 mg of crystal powder you are testing
  • For all other drugs, use a half teaspoon of water. 

Step 3: Use The Test Strip

  • Place the test strip with the wavy side down in the water.
  • Let the strip absorb the water for 15 seconds
  • Take the strip out of water and place it on a flat surface for two minutes
  • Read the results.

What Do The Results Mean?

Positive Test:

Fentanyl or a similar synthetic opioid (xylazine) has been detected in your drugs. If you are not planning to use fentanyl or opioids, avoid using the drugs or see the “What else can I do to lower my risk of overdose?” section on the back of this brochure.

Negative Test:

Fentanyl or a similar synthetic opioid (xylazine) has not been detected in your drugs. Remember, no test is 100% accurate and your drugs may still contain fentanyl or similar synthetic opioid.

Invalid Test:

Retest your drugs using a new strip.