How to Get Narcan in Your State: State Naloxone Laws

Narcan (naloxone) is a life-saving medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Generally, Narcan is easily accessible across the country, but every state has different naloxone laws so it’s important to know how to get Narcan near you. Keeping naloxone on you can help prevent fatal overdose in yourself or someone you care about.

In this article:

What is Narcan?

Narcan is brand name for the nasal spray formulation of naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid overdose medication that attaches to opioid receptors in the brain and reverses life-threatening effects like respiratory depression. It doesn’t have any effect on a person who hasn’t used opioids like fentanyl, heroin, or oxycodone; however, it won’t harm them.1

While some versions of naloxone may be administered intravenously by first responders or other medical professionals, Narcan is an excellent option for lay people since it’s available as a nasal spray people can easily administer. Some benefits of Narcan include:

  • No needle
  • Easy to use
  • Requires no special training or assembly
  • Free options available
  • It’s typically covered by insurance

How to Get Narcan Near You

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have passed naloxone access laws. These laws vary from state to state, so it’s important to know your state’s regulations.

Many pharmacies nationwide, such as CVS and Walgreens, carry and dispense naloxone. In some states, you may need a prescription to get naloxone at the pharmacy while others allow you to buy Narcan without a prescription from the pharmacist.

Download this Narcan request form to to obtain the Narcan nasal spray formulation from your local pharmacist.

You can also get Narcan from local health departments, local public health groups, or community programs, at no cost. Additionally, Next Distro, an online and mail-based harm reduction nonprofit organization, distributes free naloxone by mail.

If you need a place to start, you can visit this naloxone finder.

Naloxone Laws by State

Every state has different naloxone access laws. Before scanning the breakdown for each state, it’s important to know some terminology:

  • Third-party prescriptions: Allows pharmacists and doctors to prescribe and dispense naloxone (Narcan) to a person who is not directly at risk for an opioid overdose but knows someone who is
  • Naloxone access standing order: Allows pharmacists to dispense naloxone to those who are at risk for an opioid overdose without a prescription from a doctor

Here is an overview of how to get Narcan in each state.

Alabama

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Alaska

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Arizona

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Arkansas

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

California

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Colorado

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Connecticut

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Delaware

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists and community training programs can dispense naloxone to anyone without a prescription who has completed training.

Florida

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Georgia

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Hawai’i

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Idaho

  • Naloxone standing order: No
  • Third-party: Yes

Illinois

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Indiana

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Iowa

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Kansas

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: No

Kentucky

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Louisiana

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone (after receiving training), not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Maine

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Maryland

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Massachusetts

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Michigan

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Minnesota

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: No

Mississippi

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Missouri

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Montana

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Nebraska

  • Naloxone standing order: No
  • Third-party: Yes

Nevada

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

New Hampshire

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

New Mexico

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

New York

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

North Carolina

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

North Dakota

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Ohio

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Oklahoma

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Oregon

  • Naloxone standing order: No
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Pennsylvania

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Rhode Island

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

South Carolina

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

South Dakota

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Tennessee

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Texas

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Utah

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Vermont

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Virginia

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists and community organizations can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

Washington

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes
  • Notes: Pharmacists can dispense naloxone to anyone, not just those who are at risk or know someone at risk.

West Virginia

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Wisconsin

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Wyoming

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

Washington D.C.

  • Naloxone standing order: Yes
  • Third-party: Yes

How Much Does Narcan Cost?

The cost of Narcan depends on where you live, where you get it, how you get it, and whether you have insurance. Many insurance providers and plans cover the cost of Narcan, so you’ll want to check with your insurance company before buying naloxone.

Otherwise, the retail cost at pharmacies can vary considerably. While generic naloxone may cost between $20 and $40 per dose, name brand Narcan may cost upwards of $140 for two doses. If cost is a barrier for you, you can check out community organizations or non-profit organizations that provide free naloxone.

Who is a Good Candidate for Narcan?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), good candidates for naloxone or Narcan include those who:2

  • Receive rotating opioid prescriptions
  • Take high doses of opioid painkillers for chronic pain
  • Have been discharged from the hospital following opioid overdose or intoxication
  • Take long-acting opioid painkillers
  • Have had a period of abstinence, in which their tolerance has lowered (such as after incarceration)

Resources

1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2022). Naloxone DrugFacts.
2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). Naloxone.

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