Naloxone (also known as Narcan) reverses an opioid overdose. It is easy to use, and there are no side effects if used on someone who is not experiencing an overdose. Naloxone/Narcan is free of charge through our Overdose Response Program trainings. It can also be purchased at a pharmacy and is now available over-the-counter. 

Since 2015, BCHD and its partners have trained more than 155,000 people - and saved the lives of over 18,000 people. 

Baltimore City’s Standing Order: A Blanket Prescription

On October 1, 2015, former Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen issued a jurisdiction-wide standing order for naloxone. This allowed the medication to be dispensed by pharmacies and overdose response program employees or volunteers. The standing order serves as a blanket prescription for all City residents, meaning you can buy naloxone from a pharmacy without getting an individualized prescription from your doctor. Baltimore City was the first jurisdiction in Maryland to expand access to naloxone using a standing order. As of June 1, 2017, no training is required before purchase: anyone in Maryland can get naloxone from a pharmacy without a prescription or training certificate. Baltimore residents may use the State’s standing order issued by Howard Haft, Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services, DHMH. Today, you can receive Narcan from any MDH-registered Overdose Response Program or Syringe Service Program. With the addition of the STOP Act enacted across Maryland, there are more options now than ever to receive naloxone free of charge. 

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How to Use Naloxone

Naloxone Training Sessions

How to access BCHD's Naloxone Trainings: 

  • Community Virtual Naloxone Trainings 
    - Register for the live training using the Eventbrite link here. 
  • Naloxone Training Request Google form 
    - For organizations that request in-person or virtual trainings link here

How to use Narcan

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Overdose Response Programs

Baltimore City’s Overdose Response Programs (ORP) distribute naloxone to residents at high risk of opioid overdose. Between 2015 and 2023, BCHD and its partners have trained more than 155,000 Baltimore residents - and saved the lives of more than 18,000 people. 

To view a map of all registered Maryland ORPs, please click the link here. 

Spike Response

In partnership with the Baltimore City Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Behavioral Health System Baltimore (BHSB), BCHD launched an overdose spike alert and response system in the fall of 2016. When a spike in non-fatal overdoses is detected, which is several overdoses in a small area over a short period—we send an alert to the community and community-based organizations who have opted into receiving the alerts. Our goal is to dispatch street-based outreach teams to distribute naloxone in the CSAs where the overdoses are occurring. 

Leave Behind Program 

The Baltimore City Health Department and EMS, with support from the Behavioral Health Administration, launched a naloxone “leave-behind” pilot beginning in the summer of 2018. When responding to overdose-related 911 calls, EMS providers have distributed or left behind over 1500 kits of naloxone to members of the family, friends, and/or other residents in the area, or at the scene of the health emergency. This program allows micro-targeting the distribution of naloxone—getting it into the hands of those most likely to save a life—even when the number of non-fatal overdoses in an area is not significant enough to trigger a complete spike response.

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