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What is Naloxone?

Naloxone is prescription medication used to reverse the effects of opioid drugs like heroin, morphine and methadone if someone overdoses. It only works for these types of drugs.

It is recommended by the World Health Organisation for the treatment of opioid overdose cases. Within minutes, it reverses the effects of opioid overdose.

It is available as an intramuscular (injection) or intranasal (a spray for the nose).

It is not a cure but can help to keep a person alive until an ambulance arrives. Emergency services in Ireland can use naloxone if someone has overdosed. It could also be used by family members, peers and staff in drug and homeless services if they have received training.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Naloxone and Covid-19


Important changes: Overdose response, CPR and the COVID-19 outbreak 

If you are trained in responding to an overdose and providing naloxone, it's important that you follow the latest guidance from the HSE during this time.

This information may change as we learn more about the virus.

During this time, we ask the following;



HSE poster 'Guidance on CPR in Community Assessment Hubs' can be downloaded here


Responding to an overdose during the COVID-19 pandemic


1. Look out for the signs of overdose – blue lips/nails, dizziness, confusion, choking, gurgling sounds, snoring, shortness in breaths, no breathing, cannot be woken

2. Call for help – get a staff member or call 999/112 providing the EirCode of the location and wait with the person until help arrives. At this point it is advisable to put on PPE

3. Check the persons breathing - look at their chest movements to see if they are breathing. Don’t put your face or ear near theirs

4. Apply personal protective equiptment to yourself - googles, gloves and an apron 

5. If the person is breathing 

5. If the person is not breathing

6. Wash your hands and don’t let others into the area until cleaned


UISCE resource: How to Respond to an Opioid Overdose 



Administering intramuscular naloxone step by step



Overdose, Naloxone and CPR resources

CPR Guidance for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in Community Assessment Hub Resource / Poster 

HSE National Social Inclusion Office Overdose Response and Naloxone Guidance during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic download

Ethical considerations for PPE use by health care workers advice

UISCE poster ' How to respond to an opioid overdose during COVID-19' in English , Portuguese, Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish, Russian 

Download image 'How to administer intramuscular naloxone step by step' HERE

Overdose information for people who use drugs can be found here

Overdose and OST information for professionals 

Thank you to UISCE for the use of their images.

Naloxone Demonstration Project: Training Videos. 





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