On Aug. 28, 2019, Washington State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy signed a statewide standing order for naloxone, a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose. The standing order works like a prescription and allows any Washington person or organization to get naloxone from a pharmacy.
We want to remind our local pharmacies and healthcare providers to make it as easy as possible for those who want naloxone to get it.
Pharmacies should stock naloxone and understand the statewide order allows any Washington resident to get it from a pharmacy.
Ensure your customer service practices make it easy as possible for people to access naloxone. Encourage people who may need naloxone to carry it. This includes people who use drugs and anyone who may encounter them (friends, family, emergency personnel, service providers). People seeking naloxone should call ahead to the pharmacy to make sure they have it in stock.
Naloxone is a medication that can save lives by reversing the effects of an opioid overdose. Opioids are substances that reduce pain and suppress breathing in high doses. Naloxone works by temporarily blocking the effects of opioid drugs. Last year in Washington, 710 people died of an opioid overdose.
Naloxone is very safe. It does not have serious side effects if accidentally given to someone who is not experiencing an opioid overdose. If you think someone is experiencing an overdose but aren’t sure what kind of drugs they may have taken, use naloxone.
Organizations can use this standing order to get naloxone and give it to people who are at risk of overdosing or people who spend time with them. To use this standing order, organizations must send an email to Washington State Department of Health at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, see our Opioids page and Washington State Department of Health’s Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution.
Get more information about naloxone, the Good Samaritan law and resources for professionals and lay people at www.stopoverdose.org.