Image of Narcan Nasal Spray (photo: Adapt Pharma)

Narcan is an FDA approved prescription nasal spray that is used to stop a person from overdosing on opioids. It is a nasal form of naloxone.

Naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist that rapidly binds to opioid receptors, blocking heroin from activating them. An appropriate dose of naloxone acts in less than two minutes and completely eliminates all signs of opioid intoxication to reverse an opioid overdose.1 Between 1996 and 2014, naloxone reportedly reversed over 26,000 overdoses.2 The City of Manchester, along with community partners, worked to distribute doses of Naloxone to those in the community who may be most vulnerable. Between 2015 and 2016, they distributed over 350 doses to partner agencies. Naloxone is also available to every middle and high school nurse in Manchester public schools.3

Narcan can be used on both adults and children and can be administered by first responders, family members, or caregivers.

From 2012 to 2016, the number of times Narcan was adminstrated in New Hampshire tripled. Manchester’s Hillsborough County had the most Narcan administrations by Emergency Medical Services in the state. The 21-30 age group had the largest amount of EMS Narcan administration incidents. 


1Source:  National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).  Research Report Series:  Heroin. November 2014, Bethesda, MD:  National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs Providing Naloxone to Laypersons — United States, 2014.
32016 City of Manchester: Response to the Opioid Crisis. Mayor Theodore L. Gatsas.