How To Get Naloxone In Ohio
Naloxone (brand name Narcan) can quickly reverse an opioid overdose. While your doctor can prescribe naloxone, the drug is also available at many Ohio pharmacies without a prescription. In addition, many of the state’s harm reduction programs and health departments distribute naloxone for free.
In 2020, 81% of overdose deaths in Ohio involved fentanyl. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that’s often laced in other drugs. One of the most effective ways to prevent overdoses involving fentanyl and other opioids is to use naloxone. This medication is easily accessible to Ohioans.
How To Get Naloxone In Ohio
Naloxone is a medication that’s also known by the brand name Narcan. It’s an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks the effects of opioids by attaching to opioid receptors throughout your body and can reverse slowed or stopped breathing.
There are multiple ways to get naloxone in Ohio:
Get A Prescription From Your Healthcare Provider
If you or someone you love is at risk of opioid overdose, your healthcare provider can write you a prescription for naloxone The drug is usually covered by prescription insurance.
Visit Your Local Pharmacy
Naloxone is now available over-the-counter at most CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger pharmacies in Ohio without a prescription. It typically costs between $50 and $100. To find a pharmacy that offers the drug near you, use this list created by The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
Get Low-Cost Or Free Naloxone From A Distribution Program
Many harm reduction programs, public health groups, and health departments in Ohio offer low-cost or free naloxone kits. The Ohio Department of Health oversees a network of these naloxone distribution programs called Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone).
Many of the programs in Project DAWN also offer training on how to use naloxone. Some will even mail you the drug for free, including:
- Harm Reduction Ohio
- Thrive for Change
- Champaign Health District
- Erie County Health Department
- Lorain County Public Health
- Tuscarawas County Health Department
These organizations will send naloxone to all Ohio residents, no matter what county you live in.
How To Use Naloxone
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you carry naloxone if you or someone you know is at risk of opioid overdose death.
You are considered at-risk if you have opioid use disorder, use prescription opioids (especially at high doses), use illegal opioids such as heroin, or combine opioids with benzodiazepines.
Nasal Spray & Injection
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two forms of naloxone: a nasal spray and an injection.
The nasal spray is administered into one or both nostrils (depending on the product), while the injection is administered into a muscle, into the veins, or under the skin. A doctor, pharmacist, or harm reduction specialist can show you exactly how to use your naloxone.
Use For Symptoms Of Opioid Overdose
You should administer naloxone to anyone experiencing symptoms of opioid overdose. These symptoms include:
- extreme drowsiness
- pale, clammy, or bluish skin
- bluish lips or fingernails
- smaller pupils
- choking or gurgling sounds
- nausea and vomiting
- slowed or stopped breathing
- slowed or stopped heartbeat
- loss of consciousness
Along with administering naloxone, you must call 911 for any drug overdose. As you wait for first responders to arrive, lay the person on their side to prevent choking, and try to keep them awake and breathing.
Have Family Or Friends Carry It
You can’t administer naloxone to yourself. If you are at risk of an opioid overdose, make sure your family members and friends know where you keep your naloxone. You could also encourage them to carry the drug themselves.
If you or a loved one struggles with drug abuse, please reach out to Ohio Recovery Center. Our board-certified healthcare providers offer medical detox, mental health counseling, and other evidence-based treatments to help you stay drug-free.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Lifesaving Naloxone https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/naloxone/index.html
- City of Columbus — Access to Naloxone https://www.columbus.gov/publichealth/programs/alcohol-and-drug-abuse/access-to-naloxone/
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Naloxone DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/naloxone
- Ohio Department of Health — Drug Overdose https://odh.ohio.gov/know-our-programs/violence-injury-prevention-program/drug-overdose/
- Ohio Department of Health — Project DAWN Locations https://odh.ohio.gov/know-our-programs/project-dawn/project-dawn-programs/project-dawn-locations