What is
Naloxone?

Naloxone  is a prescription medication that reverses an opioid overdose caused by pain medication, heroin or fentanyl.

Under the NC Naloxone Access Law, you are protected from a lawsuit or legal action for giving someone else naloxone.

For more information, visit naloxonesaves.org, the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, or the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Where Can I
Get Naloxone?

There are several resources for obtaining naloxone across the state of North Carolina.

Pharmacies

Pharmacies are authorized to dispense naloxone without a prescription to the public if the person requesting naloxone meets the following conditions:

  • They are at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose
  • They are a family member or friend of a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose
  • They are in a position to assist a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose

Find a list of participating pharmacies here.

Health Departments

Health Departments across many counties in North Carolina offer naloxone.

Find a list of participating health departments here.

Syringe Exchange Programs

Syringe Exchange Programs offer overdose rescue kits (intramuscular or intranasal naloxone and directions for use) or referrals to sources for naloxone. Many programs provide naloxone kits free of charge to people who use drugs, their friends, their family members and others who may be able to respond quickly in the event of an overdose.

Learn more here.

NC Harm Reduction Coalition

The NC Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) distributes free overdose rescue kits to the following groups of people: active IV drug users, people on medication-assisted treatment, formerly incarcerated people with a history of opioid use, people engaged in sex work or people who identify as transgender.

Learn more on the NCHRC website.

How Do I
Use Naloxone?

Learn the basics of using naloxone to reverse an overdose at the following link, or download and print the NCHRC pamphlet below for more information.

Opiate Overdose Prevention and Survival Guide

How to Administer Naloxone

Increasing Access to Naloxone
In Your Community

Increasing access to naloxone is part of our state’s Opioid Action Plan. It is recognized as an evidence-based strategy by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For strategies to increase access to naloxone in your community, contact your local health department, your local health director, or other local officials.

You can also email the “Naloxone Saves” program (run by the North Carolina Division of Public Health), visit NaloxoneSaves.org, or visit the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition.

Consider these local strategies to increase access to naloxone: 

  • Work with your local health department, local officials, and community partners to conduct an inventory of who is distributing naloxone, how much they are distributing, and how this compares to the number and location of opioid overdoses that are occurring in your community.
  • Implement naloxone distribution standing orders through your local health department or community-based organizations, and distribute naloxone to persons at risk of overdose.
  • Work with local pharmacies to ensure that they are stocking naloxone and are prepared to discuss naloxone with customers in an informed and supportive way.
  • Work with Emergency Medical Services to distribute naloxone to persons at risk of overdose along with their families and loved ones.
  • Work with law enforcement agencies to increase the number of officers carrying naloxone.
  • Encourage those at risk of overdose – and their families and loved ones – to obtain naloxone and learn more from NaloxoneSaves.Org or the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition.
  • Educate community members about the importance of naloxone for people who use opioid medications prescribed by a healthcare provider.