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Medicine to Treat Rx Drug Overdose Now Available in NC Without a Prescription

North Carolina has become the third state to pass a law making naloxone access more available to residents who are concerned about an opioid drug overdose.  Opioids are prescribed to relieve pain, and naloxone is the antidote for opioid overdose.

A statewide “standing order” for naloxone was issued meaning that people in need of overdose medication don’t have to see a doctor to obtain a prescription for the medication.  They also don’t have to wait for an overdose to occur before getting naloxone.  A pharmacist can dispense naloxone under the standing order.

The legislation was passed at a time when North Carolina has seen more than 1,000 people die each year because of prescription opioid and heroin overdose.  In 2015, about half of the calls to Carolinas Poison Center about opioid pain medications involved the misuse or abuse of the drugs or a self-harm attempt. 

If someone is overdosing, call 911 immediately, but don’t wait for help to arrive before giving naloxone.  Carolinas Poison Center can help people who need assistance administering naloxone.  Call 1-800-222-1222 and one of our nurses or pharmacists can walk through how to give naloxone nasally or by injection.  

Click here to see the press release announcing the standing order legislation. 

Click here to read more about naloxone from the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition.


Carolinas Poison Center    P.O. Box 32861    Charlotte  NC    28232-2861    1-800-222-1222  •  © 2017