Narcan was formerly known as Naloxone and is used to save opiate addicts from overdose by reversing the effects almost instantaneously through intravenous injection. The drug is controversial because it is often confused with naltrexone used to aid in the management of alcohol dependence and opioid dependence in treating addiction allowing the addict to ween themselves of gradually without withdrawal. Narcan causes withdrawal and if given in the wrong amounts can result in withdrawal seizures. Narcan is not available over the counter at the present time, but it is being discussed in order to same more lives and is carried in nearly all ambulance and EMS crash carts. Opponents of allowing the life saving drug from being more readily available claim it will cause more people to experiment with opiates if they think they can't overdose.
Narcan is showing an increased use in the saving of opiate overdose in cities such as Dubuque, Iowa that has used it 48 times in 2012 by August compared with only 47 uses for the entire yea of 2011.