Naloxone (also called Narcan) reverses an opioid overdose. It is easy to use, and there are no serious side effects—even if someone is not experiencing an overdose. You can purchase naloxone at a Maryland pharmacy without a prescription.

Since 2015, BCHD and its partners have trained more than 43,000 Baltimore residents - and saved the lives of nearly 3,000 family members, friends, and neighbors.

Baltimore City’s Standing Order: A Blanket Prescription

On October 1, 2015, 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 that 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.

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Naloxone Resources

Resources for Pharmacies

How to Use Naloxone

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Naloxone Training Sessions

BCHD offers live and online naloxone training.

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Overdose Response Programs

Baltimore City’s Overdose Response Programs distribute naloxone to residents at high risk of opioid overdose. Between 2015 and August 2018, BCHD and its partners have trained more than 43,000 Baltimore residents - and saved the lives of nearly 3,000 family members, friends, and neighbors.

Totals January 2015 through July 2018:
43,529 people trained
38,351 kits distributed
2,816 reversals

January 1, 2018 through July 30, 2018:
10,509 people trained (960.6% increase)
10,415 kits distributed (1,083.7% increase)
191 reversals (217% increase)

15,027 residents trained
13,082 kits distributed
1,130 reversals

10,737 residents trained
9,446 kits distributed
495 reversals

8,017 residents trained
5,543 kits distributed

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. BCHD analyzes the times and locations of all overdoses reversed by EMS. When we detect a spike—several overdoses in a small area over a short period of time—we send an alert to the City’s addiction treatment providers and residents who live in the area, and we dispatch an outreach team to distribute naloxone and connect residents who need help to treatment.

To receive a text alert when there is a spike in your area, text “Join” to (443) 201-7598.

Leave Behind Program

BCHD and EMS, with support from the Behavioral Health Administration, will launch a naloxone “leave-behind” pilot in summer 2018. When responding to overdose-related 911 calls, EMS providers will be able to distribute naloxone kits to members of the patient’s family, friends, and/or other residents in the area. This will allow us to micro-target 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 great enough to trigger a full spike response.

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