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How to get naloxone, the antidote for an opioid overdose, in Maryland

Members of the Tri-County Funeral Directors Association have been trained in the use of Narcan, which the National Institute on Drug Abuse describes as a “medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.”

As the opioid epidemic continues to generate staggering numbers of fatalities, Marylanders might consider whether to stock up on an antidote to overdoses that’s called naloxone.

The medication comes in the form of a nasal spray, called Narcan, or an injection, called Evzio. The FDA-approved prescription medications can counteract the life-threatening effects of an opioid-related overdose.

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In June 2017, Maryland’s deputy secretary of public health issued a statewide standing order for naloxone. That means pharmacies are allowed to sell the medication to anyone, without a need for a paper or electronic prescription.

However, not all pharmacies necessarily stock naloxone. The Maryland Department of Health recommends anyone interested in purchasing the medication call a pharmacy first to learn if it’s in stock.

The health department website provides a calendar of free trainings, which typically include a free dose of naloxone to take home, offered around the state by the Maryland Overdose Response Program. The website also includes a directory of authorized training entities throughout the state.

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