Increasing Access to Naloxone: Help Save Lives from Opioid Overdose
Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can be administered to someone experiencing an opioid overdose. It works by blocking the opioid's effects, helps restore breathing and prevents death.
Naloxone Access Laws, Physician Coprescribing on the Rise
In the 2nd quarter of 2015, 4,291 prescriptions were dispensed, a 1,170% increase over prescriptions in the 4th quarter of 2013.8 AMA advocacy and widespread state medical society support has led to more than 2 dozen new state laws that increase access to naloxone—bringing the national total to more than 45 states with naloxone access laws.
8. Am J Public Health. 2016 Apr;106(4):689-90. Jones et al. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303062. Epub 2016 Feb 18.
Does Your State Have Key Laws to Save Lives From Overdose?
More than half of states have enacted a naloxone access law or an overdose good Samaritan law, but more work remains.
- Widespread access to naloxone
- Broad good Samaritan protections that defend individuals who provide assistance to someone experiencing an overdose from arrest, prosecution or other civil or criminal repercussions
|States With Naloxone Access Laws||States With Overdose Good Samaritan Laws|
|New Hampshire||New York|
|New Jersey||North Carolina|
|*As of September 2015|
Co-Prescribing or Prescribing NaloxoneOne of the 5 goals of the Task Force is to encourage physicians to co-prescribe naloxone to a patient or prescribe naloxone to a family member or close friend when it is clinically appropriate.
Questions for physicians to consider before co-prescribing or prescribing naloxone:
- Is my patient on a high opioid dose?
- Is my patient also on a concomitant benzodiazepine prescription?
- Does my patient have a history of substance use disorder?
- Does my patient have an underlying mental health condition that might make him or her more susceptible to overdose?
- Does my patient have a medical condition, such as a respiratory disease or other co-morbidities, which might make him or her susceptible to opioid toxicity, respiratory distress or overdose?
- Might my patient be in a position to aid someone who is at risk of opioid overdose?
For more information on how to save lives from overdose, download the Task Force's guide to increasing access to naloxone.
Information & Training for PhysiciansBefore you prescribe naloxone, you should be prepared to educate your patients and their families on the risk and what to do in the case of an overdose.
The Task Force has compiled information and training to provide guidance for physicians on discussions about overdose risk, training in case of overdose, treatments for substance use disorder and understanding the stigma their patients might feel.
- Overdose Prevention Resources
Harm Reduction Coalition
- Webinar—Motivational Interviewing for Substance Use Disorders and Addiction
American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
- Webinar—Naloxone Distribution From the ED for Patients At-Risk for Opioid Overdose
American College of Emergency Physicians
- "When Seconds Count”: Opioid Overdose Resuscitation Instruction Card
American Society of Anesthesiologists
- Overdose Rescues by Trained and Untrained Participants and Change in Opioid Use Among Substance-Using Participants in Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Programs: A Retrospective Cohort Study
Doe-Simkins M, Quinn E, Xuan Z, et al. BMC Public Health. 2014; 14:297.
- Public Policy Statement on the Use of Naloxone for the Prevention of Drug Overdose Deaths
American Society of Addiction Medicine
- Prescribe to Prevent—Naloxone Prescribing Information and Training
Prescribe to Prevent.org