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Pennsylvania’s Life-Saving Naloxone Program

March 10, 2023

The Shapiro administration provided an update about Pennsylvania’s naloxone program and how to access the life-saving opioid reversal medication.

“Anyone can save a life by administering naloxone to a person who is experiencing an opioid overdose,” said Dr. Debra Bogen, the state’s acting health secretary. “I encourage Pennsylvanians to obtain naloxone from a pharmacy, community give-away event, or other sources—and learn how to give it."

Here’s what you need to know:

  • By the numbers:  Since 2017, nearly 23,000 opioid overdose reversals have been made with naloxone purchased from one of the state programs.
  • Standing order:  State residents can purchase or use their insurance to obtain naloxone at local pharmacies without a prescription from their physician by presenting a copy of the Department of Health’s standing order.  
  • Training available:  Individuals are encouraged to take training to prepare to assist someone in need.
  • First responder program:  The Naloxone for First Responders Program distributes free naloxone to organizations and individuals who may encounter someone experiencing an overdose.
    • Since 2017, the program and its coordinating entities have distributed 214,515 kits to organizations and individuals and another 265,308 kits directly to organizations in high-need communities.
  • Quotable:  “We must keep fellow Pennsylvanians alive and decrease the chances of individuals suffering a fatal overdose,” said Dr. Latika Davis-Jones, acting secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol programs.

Additionally, Pennsylvania partners with Prevention Point Pittsburgh and NEXT Distro to support a statewide mail-based naloxone program for Pennsylvania residents to request and receive naloxone for free by mail.

HAP continues to support policies and legislation that address the state’s opioid crisis and improve our behavioral health care system. Learn more about our behavioral health advocacy.

Additional information about the state’s naloxone program is available online.