Naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist that rapidly binds to opioid receptors, blocking heroin from activating them. An appropriate dose of naloxone acts in less than 2 minutes and completely eliminates all signs of opioid intoxication to reverse an opioid overdose.1 Between 1996 and 2014, naloxone reportedly reversed over 26,000 overdoses.2
Naloxone that can be used by nonmedical personnel has been shown to be cost-effective and save lives.
In April 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a Naloxone hand-held auto-injector called Evzio®, which rapidly delivers a single dose of naloxone into the muscle or under the skin, buying time until medical assistance can arrive.3
Narcan® is an FDA approved prescription nasal spray that is used to stop a person from overdosing on opioids. It is a nasal form of naloxone.
Both Evzio® and Narcan® can be used on both adults and children and can be administered by first responders, family members, or caregivers.
In Philadelphia, you can get naloxone through either your doctor's prescription or through the statewide standing order written for the general public by Dr. Rachel Levine. Many pharmacies have the order on file, but you can also download it here.
Overdose Free PA’s website has a naloxone locator. Just enter in your address or zip code to find the nearest clinic or pharmacy.
Prevention Point Philadelphia is a local, private nonprofit organization that promotes health and safety in communities affected by drug use and poverty.
The group provides training at their location on how to use naxolone, the opioid overdose reversal drug, throughout the year. Get more information on their website.
Within the standing order, there are also instructions on how to use both Narcan and injectable naloxone. See them here.
1Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Research Report Series: Heroin. November 2014, Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).
2Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs Providing Naloxone to Laypersons — United States, 2014.
3Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Research Report Series: Heroin. November 2014, Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).