Reverse an Opioid Overdose

South Dakota Resource Hotline 1-800-920-4343

Call 911 Icon

If you suspect an overdose, call 911 immediately!

Good Samaritan laws are in place to protect people helping others in distress.

What are symptoms of an opioid overdose?
  • Small, constricted “pinpoint pupils” 
  • Falling asleep or loss of consciousness
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Limp body
  • Pale, blue, or cold skin
  • Vomiting
  • Lips or fingernails turn blue or gray
  • No response when you yell the person’s name or rub the middle of their chest with knuckles

Anyone taking a prescription opioid is at risk for an overdose, whether unintentional or not. If you have opioids in your home (like fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine, or codeine), there are things you can do to keep loved ones safe:

  • Get NARCAN® Nasal Spray from your pharmacy.
  • Order a medication lock box for safe storage.
  • Dispose of unused medications.
  • Know the signs of an overdose.
NARCAN® Nasal Spray

Naloxone is a medication that can rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It quickly restores normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.

Naloxone can be delivered at home to an individual experiencing an overdose through NARCAN® Nasal Spray. Anyone can administer NARCAN® to temporarily reverse an opioid overdose. It has no potential for abuse or addiction.

Narcan Nasal Spray
NARCAN® Access Day

Efforts are underway to increase awareness of the benefits of naloxone and to establish a day when South Dakotans can get NARCAN® Nasal Spray for free from participating pharmacies (no insurance or prescription required). Watch this space for details.

If you have opioids in your home (like fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine, or codeine), ask your pharmacist about how you can get NARCAN® to help keep your family safe.

How do I administer NARCAN®?

If you suspect an opioid overdose, administer NARCAN® and get emergency medical assistance right away. Treatment must be delivered quickly to be effective. 

  1. Peel back the package to remove the device. Hold the device with your thumb on the bottom of the red plunger and 2 fingers on the nozzle.
  2. Place and hold the tip of the nozzle in either nostril until your fingers touch the bottom of the patient’s nose.
  3. Press the red plunger firmly to release the dose into the patient’s nose.

NARCAN® is extremely safe. It can cause withdrawal symptoms, which can be uncomfortable, but not life-threatening. NARCAN® is not a substitute for medical care. It should only be used in emergency overdose situations. Get emergency medical help right away after giving the first dose of Narcan Nasal Spray even if the person wakes up, because symptoms may return. Repeat doses may be necessary.

Will Good Samaritan laws protect me if I administer NARCAN®?

Good Samaritan laws are in place in South Dakota to protect people who offer aid to those in distress. Additionally, NARCAN® is not a controlled substance, so people should not be reluctant to use it to help others who may be in an overdose situation.