Harm Reduction

Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Overdose

An opioid overdose is a serious, life-threatening emergency which requires immediate medical attention. Please call 911 immediately if you witness anyone exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Slow or stopped breathing
  • Gurgling noises or vomiting
  • Fingernails or lips turning blue/purple
  • Pale and/or clammy face
  • Limp body

What is Naloxone?

Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist, meaning that it binds to opioid receptors to block the effects of other opioids.

Note: It can ONLY reverse an overdose from an opioid

As a result, Naloxone can restore normal breathing in a person who has overdosed from an opioid such as heroin, fentanyl, or a prescription medication. There are three different types of Naloxone: injectable, auto injectable, and a nasal spray (NARCAN). The auto injectable and nasal spray do not require professional training and are relatively simple to use. These can be administered by a relative or friend in emergency situations. While Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose, further medical care is still necessary. Call 911 immediately if you suspect an opioid overdose.

Medical care in this situation is absolutely necessary. Even after receiving a dose of Naloxone, the person will go back into withdrawal after 45 minutes to an hour. Getting them to an emergency room is absolutely crucial.

Finding Naloxone

If you or someone you know takes prescription opioids or shows signs of opioid addiction, it is important to have Naloxone on hand in case of an emergency overdose. Use this tool by Sonoran Prevention Works to find where to access Naloxone near you.

Additionally, Naloxone is currently available without a prescription at your nearest Walgreen’s pharmacy.

Pima County Needle Exchanges Locations

LifePoint Needle Exchange

3550 N. 1st Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
Hours: Fridays 9am-3pm

175 W. Irvington
Tucson, AZ 85713
Hours: Mondays 12:30 – 4pm

What is Provided?

  • A clean syringe for every used one you bring in
  • Alcohol wipes/Cotton
  • Linkage to rapid Hep C and HIV testing
  • Methadone & Suboxone information

SAAF Needle Exchange

375 S Euclid Ave
Tucson, AZ 85719
Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays  from 4 pm – 7 pm

What is Provided?

  • A 1-1 exchange
  • Clean needles even if you don’t have any to exchange
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Cotton

Safe use of Needles:

  • Don’t share needles, even if it has just been used by a close friend or family member
  • Use antiseptic wipes, wash hands, use clean water and clean cotton for wounds
  • Always clean your skin before injection