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Naloxone Rescue for Opioid Overdose

Naloxone Can Save a Life

Frequently Asked Questions  Toolkit for Pharmacists

naloxone vials

Naloxone, also called Narcan, can very quickly restore normal breathing for a person whose breathing has slowed down or stopped because of an overdose of prescription opioids or heroin.

Naloxone only works for opioid drugs, including heroin, morphine, oxycodone (e.g. OxyContin, Percocet), oxymorphone (e.g. Opana), methadone, hydrocodone (e.g. Vicodin), codeine and fentanyl.


Oregon law allows lay people to carry and use naloxone on others

You can be prepared to save the life of someone in need. Ask your healthcare provider or a pharmacist about naloxone if you believe you or someone you know may be at risk of an overdose.


Frequently Asked Questions

Read our FAQs to learn about naloxone training, how to get naloxone and more.

If your question is not answered here, please contact lisa.m.shields@state.or.us. For additional naloxone information, visit the Oregon Pain Guidance naloxone web page.

1. Do I need training to obtain naloxone?

As of October 6, 2017, special training will no longer be required to obtain naloxone in Oregon. This faq information will be updated to reflect these changes as soon as the law goes into effect. Read House Bill 3440.


2. How do I get trained to use naloxone?

a. Watch the online naloxone training videos.

b. Read the Oregon Health Authority's (OHA) naloxone training protocol (pdf). You may print the protocols and sign to acknowledge you've read them.

c. Receive patient counseling from a pharmacist, who will refer to the OHA naloxone training protocol (pdf).

d. Syringe exchange programs or social service agencies who distribute naloxone will train their clients in how to use it.


3. How often do I need to be trained?

According to Oregon law, naloxone training is good for three years, although this will no longer be a requirement as of 10/6/2017.


4. How do I obtain naloxone?

a. Any prescriber can send a prescription to your drug store. If you are in addiction treatment, you can ask your counselors for help.

b. In Oregon, anyone can obtain naloxone directly from a pharmacist. You don't need to see your healthcare provider first. As this is a new law, call the drug store first to make sure they have the necessary systems in place.

c. You can obtain naloxone through some social service agencies and advocacy groups such as Max's Mission (Southern Oregon).

d. If you are an active injection drug user you can obtain naloxone through your local syringe exchange program.


5. Will insurance cover naloxone?

Check with your insurance provider for coverage information. Many insurance plans will cover naloxone prescriptions.


6. How much does naloxone cost?

The price of medications can vary and change over time. Call your pharmacy to get a current price.


7. Is there any legal risk in administering naloxone?

Oregon has a Good Samaritan law (pdf) ​that protects responders from civil prosecution if they give someone naloxone in a good faith effort to reverse an opioid overdose. There is no liability as long as naloxone is administered in good faith.

1. Why should I prescribe naloxone?

Accidental opioid overdose is preventable and naloxone saves lives. Co-prescribing naloxone in primary care settings can significantly reduce emergency department visits, and may help patients become more aware of the potential hazards of opioid misuse.

​2. Who is able to prescribe naloxone?

Naloxone is not a controlled substance and can be prescribed by anyone with a medical license. Any pharmacist can prescribe it as well.

3. Who should get naloxone?

  • All patients with factors that increase risk for overdose, such as history of overdose, higher dosages (≥50 MME daily), concurrent benzodiazepine use, or history of substance use disorder
  • Anyone otherwise at risk of experiencing or witnessing an opioid overdose

Resources for more information:

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1. What do pharmacists need to do to prescribe naloxone to patients?

Pharmacists can prescribe naloxone for patients and provide patient counseling/training. Visit the Board of Pharmacy website for naloxone FAQs for pharmacists, with more details about pharmacist prescribing of naloxone.​

Check out the Naloxone Toolkit for Oregon Pharmacists on this page, with posters, fact sheet, and bag stuffers.

1. How can I have naloxone on site for staff to use?

All staff and volunteers who may administer naloxone need to be trained in the use of naloxone and how to recognize an overdose. It is required to have an MD/DO or NP provide clinical oversight for your training program, although beginning 10/6/2017, training requirements will no longer be specifically outlined in statute or rule. It is also within the scope of practice for a PA to provide clinical oversight. The PA’s supervising physician must (1) delegate that responsibility in the PA’s practice agreement, (2) be competent to provide naloxone training, and (3) ensure the PA’s competence. The person providing clinical oversight can also order naloxone for your organization. . If you do not have an MD/DO, NP or PA on staff, talk to your local pharmacist about having them order naloxone for your organization.

If you do not have an MD/DO, NP, or PA on staff and are located in Multnomah, Clackamas, or Washington County, you may have a staff member attend the Naloxone Train-the-Trainer class sponsored by Multnomah County. Organizations who have a representative attend the training are able to purchase naloxone through the Multnomah County Pharmacy. Contact Erin Browne (erin.browne@multco.us) for more information.


2. How can our staff be trained?

The MD/DO, NP or PA providing clinical oversight will determine the specific training protocols for your organization. Staff may be trained face-to-face, by watching the OHA online training videos, or by reading OHA training protocol (pdf). Face-to-face training can be provided by the person providing clinical oversight or by another staff member. There are no specific requirements for trainers.


3. Do staff and/or trainers need to be certified in CPR to administer naloxone or to train others to administer naloxone?

While CPR training may be beneficial to your staff and organization, it is not required for staff or trainers to be CPR certified.


4. What is involved in providing clinical oversight?

Clinical oversight for naloxone training protocols may be provided by an MD/DO, NP or PA (see #1 above for PA requirements). Oversight means ensuring, through periodic review, that the training on lifesaving treatments for opioid overdose is consistent with the scope and intent of the protocols developed by the Oregon Health Authority. The health professional providing clinical oversight can determine the appropriate level of oversight in the context of each organization’s staffing and outreach/training approach.


Law enforcement agencies needing more information can contact Lines for Life for assistance: ElizabethW@linesforlife.org. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office created a naloxone training video for law enforcement.


5. Is starting a naloxone distribution program right for my organization?

If your agency works with clients at risk for opioid overdose, then starting a distribution program might be right for you. A naloxone distribution program includes training and distributing take-home naloxone kits to clients. Since staff will be training clients and distributing naloxone, clinical oversight by an MD/DO, NP, or PA is required, although this will no longer be required beginning January 1, 2018.

You may contact Lisa Shields at lisa.m.shields@state.or.us for more information.

Here are some questions to consider when starting a program:

  1. Have you identified an MD/DO, NP or PA to provide clinical oversight for trainers?
  2. How will you document who has been trained by your trainers?
  3. What other data will you collect from participants? (ie: demographics, substance use history, overdose experiences, etc.)
  4. How often will staff be expected to do refresher trainings?
  5. How (and when) will you have your naloxone supplies available?
  6. Do you know how to order supplies for naloxone kits?
  7. Where will you store the naloxone kits? ​

 Download all FAQs for printing (pdf) - updated Aug. 22, 2017

 Naloxone Training Protocol

 Opioid Overdose Toolkit from SAMHSA (pdf)


Toolkit for Pharmaciststoolkit

Posters, bag stuffers and information sheets for pharmacists can be downloaded and printed from the list of resources below. (Click the plus sign to view the list).

Oregon Pharmacists can now prescribe naloxone and the necessary supplies for administration to a person or organization who has completed an approved training. House Bill 4124 was signed into law in 2016 with the intent of increas​ing access to the life-saving opiate overdose reversal drug through pharmacists and certain organizations.

Posters, bag stuffers and information sheets for pharmacists can be downloaded and printed below. All files are in PDF format.

Information Sheet

Posters - 11x17"

English:

Spanish:

Bag Stuffers - 3 per sheet, 8.5x11"

 

Call 911 for drug overdose

It's very important that you call 911 any time someone has a drug overdose.

If you use naloxone, the effects are temporary and the person still needs medical attention. After the medication wears off, the person could fall back into a coma.

If you call police or 911 to get help for someone having a drug overdose, Oregon law protects you from being arrested or prosecuted for drug-related charges or parole/probation violations based on information provided to emergency responders.

 Read the Good Samaritan Law (pdf)

Oregon Pharmacies Distributing Naloxone

 View Listing of Oregon Pharmacies that Distribute Naloxone (pdf)

If you would like to add a pharmacy to the list and map, please contact Lisa Shields at lisa.m.shields@state.or.us

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