In WA, any organization can obtain naloxone for staff or to distribute to others who may have or witness an overdose.
How to start a naloxone program
Overdose prevention and naloxone distribution can be easily integrated into programs that work with people at risk for overdose such as housing agencies, health care services, substance use treatment programs, and other supportive service programs.
To start a naloxone program at your agency:
- Consult with staff, volunteers, board of directors, and clients on what needs and opportunities exist at your agency for overdose prevention and naloxone.
- Review the Naloxone for Community Agencies guide. It answers basic questions about laws, liability, naloxone safety, purchasing, and other logistics.
- If you only want to have naloxone available for staff use, find a medical provider who will write a prescription (see samples here) for naloxone to your agency. If your agency also wants to distribute naloxone, you will need a prescriber to write a standing order (see samples here). In both cases, this prescriber could be your medical director, a local health officer or any private healthcare provider.
- Select and purchase which naloxone product(s) you will use. Ask your prescriber for guidance.
- Develop protocols for storing, using and/or distributing naloxone, and for training staff. (sample protocols here)
- Train staff on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose and how to administer naloxone. Consider how you will provide this training for new staff or as a refresher for staff later on. (Sample training materials here)
Resources for developing naloxone programs
- Center for Opioid Safety Education, Naloxone for Community Agencies guide
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
- Harm Reduction Coalition Guide to Developing and Managing Overdose Prevention and Take Home Naloxone Projects