Project DAWN

Project DAWN Brochure

Naloxone is a medication that can block the effects of opioids on the brain and reverse an overdose by quickly restoring breathing when administered in time during an opioid overdose. Naloxone is safe and has no potential for abuse. If naloxone is given to a person who is not experiencing an opioid overdose, it is harmless. If naloxone is administered to a person who is dependent on opioids, it will produce withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone does not reverse overdoses that are caused by alcohol, cocaine, benzodiazepines, methamphetamine, or other non-opioid drugs.

Anyone who uses high doses of opioid pain medication or uses opioids recreationally is at risk of overdose. Other risk factors include:

  • Using opioids in combination with anti-depressants, benzodiazepines, or alcohol; like opioids, these drugs impact breathing.
  • Tolerance reduction as a result of not having used opioids recently, for example after release from jail, inpatient treatment, or hospitalization.
  • Health conditions such as asthma or other breathing problems, liver or kidney disease, heart disease, or HIV/AIDS. 
  • Using street drugs with uncertain content and potency, for example heroin cut with fentanyl.

A person who is experiencing an overdose may have the following symptoms:

  • Lack of response to stimuli, like shaking or sternum rub
  • Slow or shallow breathing (less than 10 breaths per minute) or not breathing at all
  • Choking, snoring, or gurgling sounds
  • Blue, grey or ashen lips and fingernails 
  • Pale and clammy face
  • Slow, erratic, or no pulse
  • Vomiting / Seizures

Project DAWN provides take-home naloxone kits to the public, free of charge. Participants receive training on identifying risk factors, recognizing the signs and symptoms, administering intranasal naloxone, and calling emergency medical services. 

The Board of Health has scheduled two Project DAWN community training and naloxone distribution events in December.  Click here for more information!

For more information about Project DAWN or to refer patients to the program, please call 330-270-2855 extension 125.