Manager   •   about 7 years ago

Legal Use of Naloxone and App Directions

Good Afternoon,

While working on my submission to the Opioid Overdose Prevention, I realized that it would be very hard or perhaps impossible to fulfill the requirements of the challenge while following the rules.

Basically, the issue come down to this-- The Five Essential Steps for First Responders (which the submission MUST include) calls for Naloxone to be administered. The submission requirements also note that the submission address the use cases, for many of whom it would be illegal to administer Naloxone. The rules also state the submissions not violate any law or regulation. However, telling people that they should administer Naloxone despite the fact that it is illegal for them to do so violates numerous laws and regulations.

Could you please advise me as to how I can address this issue?


Thank you for your question. The laws on Naloxone differ in each state, and laws are changing all the time. SAMHSA is not asking anyone to violate the law or do anything illegal. The goal of disseminating information on the use of Naloxone is to raise awareness about the use of Naloxone to prevent deaths from opioid overdose; to help people prepare for a potential opioid overdose; and to help people know what to do in the event of an opioid overdose.

For the sake of this challenge, there are at least two different approaches you could take.
1) Direct the end users to learn about:
a. the availability of naloxone in their community, either from prescribers, pharmacies, or from naloxone programs, and
b. whether a person who is not a health professional or a first responder is legally permitted to administer naloxone.

2) A second option for this challenge is to assume that the end users live in a state where:
a. it is legal to prescribe or otherwise make available naloxone to third parties (e.g., a family member or friend),
b. the lay person will not be held liable for administering naloxone, and
c. emergency personnel can administer naloxone.

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