Change Grow Live – health and social care charity

Naloxone: the opioid overdose reversal drug

Get a free naloxone kit and training
If you would like a naloxone kit please visit your local service, where we can supply one along with training on the prevention and management of opioid overdose. Training can take as little as 10 minutes.
What is naloxone?
Naloxone is a drug that can reverse the effects of opioids, and prevent death if used within a short period following an opioid overdose. For many years, naloxone has been used within emergency medical settings to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and prevent death. In short, naloxone saves lives.

Naloxone is only effective on opioids, such as heroin, methadone, morphine, codeine, buprenorphine, opium, and pethidine.
naloxone photo
Naloxone saves lives

Last year we gave out more than

13500

naloxone kits

How does naloxone work?
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist – this means it can temporarily remove opioids from the receptors in the body and prevent the opioids from re-attaching to the receptors for a limited period of time.

Naloxone can rapidly reverse a reduced breathing rate (known as respiratory depression) when caused by an overdose of opioids. Naloxone takes 2-5 minutes to have an effect when injected into a muscle. The effects last for about 20 minutes. This means the use of naloxone can buy critical time while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

Naloxone can be supplied by:

“Persons employed or engaged in the provision of drug treatment services provided by, on behalf of or under arrangements made by one of the following bodies–
(a) an NHS body
(b) a local authority
(c) Public Health England
(d) Public Health Agency

Naloxone can be supplied to anyone at risk of opioid overdose, as well as their friends, family or other representatives.

Before supplying naloxone to anyone, we provide training on how to recognise opioid overdose, overdose management, and the use of naloxone injection.

PLEASE NOTE: naloxone should never be considered as a safety net to take extra risks.
person at the needle exchange
Naloxone can be supplied to anyone at risk of opioid overdose.

How to recognise when someone has overdosed

Symptoms can include:
  • Deep snoring/‘gurgling’ noises
  • You cannot wake the person, and they are not responsive to shouting or shaking of the shoulders
  • A blue tinge to lips, nail beds or other extremities
  • Not breathing

Watch a video on how to recognise overdose >
medical icon
Key steps to remember
  • Ensure personal safety first
  • Call 999 and ask for an ambulance
  • Check that nothing is obstructing their airways
  • Place the person in the recovery position
  • Inject naloxone into the thigh or upper arm muscle
  • Wait with the victim until the ambulance arrives and safely dispose of the naloxone kit to paramedics
If someone has had an opioid overdose, naloxone will buy precious time. The individual still needs to go to hospital. Always dial 999 for an ambulance.

These tips apply to people who have a naloxone kit and have previously received full training. Click here to read the Prenoxad Injection patient information leaflet.

See how to administer naloxone >
alert icon

How to get a replacement naloxone kit

When you need a replacement kit due to the current dose being used, lost, damaged, or out of date, you should ideally return to the change, grow, live service where you were originally trained and given the naloxone kit. We can then provide you with a new one if required. If the change, grow, live service where you originally received your naloxone kit is now closed, you can visit another change, grow, live service – find your nearest one here. You can also find a full list of drug services (including other providers) on the Talk to Frank website here.

  • Statistic One

    Return to the same service to get another naloxone kit

We have placed cookies on your device to improve your experience on this site. If you are OK with this, please click ‘Continue’. Read our privacy notice and cookie policy for more information.