Mental & physical health

Learn how to get and use naloxone (Narcan®)

If you’re having a medical emergency, call 911.

Overview

Opioids are a class of drugs that relieve pain. When appropriately prescribed by a doctor, opioids help the brain block the feeling of pain. Misusing opioids can cause addiction, overdose, and sometimes death.

Learn how the City of Philadelphia is combating the opioid epidemic.

What’s naloxone?

Naloxone is a prescription medicine that reverses opioid overdoses. It temporarily blocks the effect of opioids and helps a person to start breathing again. The drug is also sold under the brand names Narcan and Evzio.

Naloxone quick facts

  • Only works for someone on opioids
  • Cannot be used to get high
  • Not addictive
  • Adverse side effects are rare
  • Safe and easy to use
  • Takes 2–5 minutes to take effect
  • May require more than one dose
  • Stays in the body for 30–90 minutes
  • May cause withdrawal (e.g., chills, nausea, vomiting, agitation, muscle aches)

Signs of an overdose

  • Slow, shallow, or no detectable breathing
  • Unresponsive or unconscious
  • Pale, blue, or gray lips, face, and/or nail beds
  • Loud snoring or gurgling noise
  • Vomiting
  • Slow or no pulse

Who

Although naloxone is a prescription medication, Pennsylvania – like many states – has passed laws making it available as a standing order. A standing order prescription allows pharmacists in Pennsylvania to dispense naloxone without requiring an individual prescription.

Anyone can access naloxone by:

  • Getting a prescription from their doctor; or
  • Using the standing order written for the general public.

If you’re interested in learning more, see Pennsylvania’s Naloxone Standing Order (PDF).

Uninsured?

Prevention Point Philadelphia offers naloxone based on ability to pay.

Where and when

Naloxone prescriptions can be filled at most pharmacies. Although the medication may not be available for same day pickup, it can often be ordered and available within a day or two.

When you arrive at the pharmacy, be sure to:

  • Have insurance card ready.
  • Bring an ID.
  • Ask whether the pharmacy has naloxone in stock to obtain through PA’s Standing Order.
  • If yes, ask for the cost of the copay before the order is filled.
  • If they do not have it in stock, request that it be ordered or ask if another location has it in stock.
  • While many may have a copay for brand Narcan, other brands may be free.
  • If the pharmacist declines your request, ask if they’re familiar with the standing order.
  • If they are unable to fill the request or are unfamiliar with the standing order, please go to another pharmacy.
  • If the pharmacist was unwilling to fill the request, please report your experience to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Use this map to find a pharmacy near you that carries naloxone.

Price

While many insurance companies have a copay for brand Narcan, other brands may be free. If you are uninsured, Prevention Point Philadelphia offers naloxone based on ability to pay.

How

To learn how to administer naloxone, attend a local training. The next three sessions are listed below. See all local trainings.

  • Oct
    22
    PDPH Overdose Awareness & Reversal Training
    5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
    Ramonita G. de Rodriguez Library, 600 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19123, USA

    PDPH Overdose Awareness & Reversal Training

    October 22, 2018
    5:30 pm to 6:30 pm, 1 hour
    Ramonita G. de Rodriguez Library, 600 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19123, USA
    map

    With Philadelphia, and the nation, in the grips of an opioid overdose crisis, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is now offering FREE training on overdose awareness and overdose reversal using naloxone, or Narcan.

    Trainings will be held at the Ramonita G. de Rodriguez Library. 

    Drug abuse and overdoses are an ongoing crisis in Philadelphia, killing more than 1200 people in 2017. The Medical Examiner reports that 88% of our fatal overdoses involve opioids, including heroin and fentanyl. This training will teach you concrete actions you can take to help combat the opioid crisis and prevent fatal overdoses. Trainees will learn:

    • Information about the current state of the opioid crisis in Philadelphia
    • Potential risk factors for opioid overdose
    • Signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose 
    • Information about naloxone including: what it is, how to use it, & where to get it*
    • The medical protocol for responding to an opioid overdose
    • Information about PA's Standing Order for Naloxone, Act 139, and the Good Samaritan protection

    *Medication not provided

    Learn more about naloxone and how to get it  

    For more information on Philadelphia's plans to address the opioid crisis.


    To register or address any questions, please contact overdose.prevention@phila.gov.

    Registration encouraged, but not required. Walk-ins welcome!

  • Oct
    22
    PDPH Overdose Awareness & Reversal Training
    6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
    1700 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19145, USA

    PDPH Overdose Awareness & Reversal Training

    October 22, 2018
    6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, 1 hour
    1700 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19145, USA
    map

    With Philadelphia, and the nation, in the grips of an opioid overdose crisis, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is now offering FREE training on overdose awareness and overdose reversal using naloxone, or Narcan.

    Trainings will be held at the Free Library of South Philadelphia Branch at 1700 S Broad St. 

    Drug abuse and overdoses are an ongoing crisis in Philadelphia, killing more than 1200 people in 2017. The Medical Examiner reports that 88% of our fatal overdoses involve opioids, including heroin and fentanyl. This training will teach you concrete actions you can take to help combat the opioid crisis and prevent fatal overdoses. Trainees will learn:

    • Information about the current state of the opioid crisis in Philadelphia
    • Potential risk factors for opioid overdose
    • Signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose 
    • Information about naloxone including: what it is, how to use it, & where to get it*
    • The medical protocol for responding to an opioid overdose
    • Information about PA's Standing Order for Naloxone, Act 139, and the Good Samaritan protection

    *Medication not provided

    Learn more about naloxone and how to get it  

    For more information on Philadelphia's plans to address the opioid crisis.


    To register or address any questions, please contact overdose.prevention@phila.gov.

    Registration encouraged, but not required. Walk-ins welcome!

  • Oct
    26
    PDPH Overdose Awareness & Reversal Training
    3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
    Charles L. Durham Library, 3320 Haverford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

    PDPH Overdose Awareness & Reversal Training

    October 26, 2018
    3:30 pm to 4:30 pm, 1 hour
    Charles L. Durham Library, 3320 Haverford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
    map

    With Philadelphia, and the nation, in the grips of an opioid overdose crisis, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is now offering FREE training on overdose awareness and overdose reversal using naloxone, or Narcan.

    Trainings will be held at the Charles L. Durham Library. 

    Drug abuse and overdoses are an ongoing crisis in Philadelphia, killing more than 1200 people in 2017. The Medical Examiner reports that 88% of our fatal overdoses involve opioids, including heroin and fentanyl. This training will teach you concrete actions you can take to help combat the opioid crisis and prevent fatal overdoses. Trainees will learn:

    • Information about the current state of the opioid crisis in Philadelphia
    • Potential risk factors for opioid overdose
    • Signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose 
    • Information about naloxone including: what it is, how to use it, & where to get it*
    • The medical protocol for responding to an opioid overdose
    • Information about PA's Standing Order for Naloxone, Act 139, and the Good Samaritan protection

    *Medication not provided

    Learn more about naloxone and how to get it  

    For more information on Philadelphia's plans to address the opioid crisis.


    To register or address any questions, please contact overdose.prevention@phila.gov.

    Registration encouraged, but not required. Walk-ins welcome!

Through the ‘Good Samaritan’ provision of Act 139, friends, loved ones and bystanders are encouraged to call 911 for emergency medical services in the event an overdose is witnessed and to stay with the individual until help arrives. The law offers certain criminal and civil protections to the caller so that they cannot get in trouble for being present, witnessing, and reporting an overdose. Learn more about Act 139.


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