Naloxone is a medication that can save lives by reversing the effects of an opioid overdose. Opioids are substances that reduce pain and with high doses suppress breathing. Some examples of opioids are heroin, methadone, Oxycontin®, Vicodin® and fentanyl. Naloxone can be administered nasally or via an intramuscular injection.
People who should carry naloxone:
- People who use drugs
- Those who interact with people who use drugs, like friends, family, and emergency personnel
- Anyone receiving opioid medication at a dosage of 50 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) or higher per day. If you are taking prescription opioids and are unsure what your MME is for your prescription(s), please consult your prescriber.
- Anyone using drugs that were not purchased at a pharmacy or cannabis dispensary. There is the possibility that drugs not purchased at either of these locations might be contaminated with illicit fentanyl, which could possibly cause an opioid overdose.
Statewide Standing Order to Dispense Naloxone
Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose. You can give naloxone to someone using an injection or nasal spray.
The Statewide Standing Order to Dispense Naloxone (PDF) Spanish (PDF) can be used as a prescription for naloxone. People may take this standing order to a pharmacy to get naloxone, instead of going to a health care provider to get a prescription.
Organizations may also use this standing order to get naloxone and give it to people who are:
- At risk of overdosing.
- Spending time with people at risk of overdosing.
People using the standing order do not need to send an email to the department.
Respond to an overdose
- Learn how to use Naloxone and respond to an overdose:
- English - Overdose Response Instructions (PDF)(DOH 150-126)
- Chinese (Simple) - 使用纳洛酮治疗用药过量 (PDF)(DOH 150-126)
- Russian - При передозировке наркотиками используйте налоксон (PDF)(DOH 150-126)
- Spanish - Uso de la naloxona ante una sobredosis de drogas (PDF)(DOH 150-126)
- Ukrainian - У випадку передозування наркотиками використовуйте налоксон (PDF)(DOH 150-126)
- Vietnamese - Sử Dụng Naloxone cho Người Dùng Thuốc Quá Liều (PDF)(DOH 150-126)
- Learn signs and symptoms and how to take action on the Naloxone Instructions webpage.
How can I get naloxone?
- Find naloxone near you
- Naloxone is covered by Medicaid in Washington State.
- Naloxone can be dispensed at pharmacies without a prescription.
- Naloxone can be provided by community-based organizations because there is a Statewide Standing Order to Dispense Naloxone (PDF).
How can my organization become a naloxone distribution program?
Department of Health (DOH) has an Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) program which began in 2019. It supports access to naloxone statewide for people who are likely to experience or witness an opioid overdose. The program also provides free overdose recognition and response trainings to community organizations that would like their staff, volunteers or clients trained. It also provides free technical assistance to organizations that are interested in becoming a distributor of naloxone kits to their clients, but need assistance with developing policy and procedure.
If your organization provides services to people who use drugs, or their friends and families, you may be eligible to receive free naloxone kits from DOH to distribute. If you are interested, please complete the Naloxone Request Form (Word).
Access to naloxone and training on how to use it are essential to reduce deaths and help address the opioid crisis. See data related to overdose in Washington state.
- Reference Page for 2SSB 5195 – Distributing opioid overdose reversal medications in hospital emergency departments and certified and licensed behavioral health settings
- Information on using naloxone and where to get it: University of Washington, Center for Opioid Safety Education and Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute
- Opioids, overdose prevention, Washington State data, and treatment and support resources and information
- SAMHSA's Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
- Washington State Naloxone Distribution Plan State Fiscal Year 2022 (PDF)