ANN ARBOR – Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a life-saving medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
As interventions with the safe drug continue throughout the United States, more and more cities are making the drug available to anyone who wants to carry it.
“Opioids cause death by slowing your breathing to the point it stops,” reads the Washtenaw County Health Department’s website. “Naloxone can quickly reverse this effect and helps the person to breathe again. Responding quickly is critical to preventing brain injury and death. Delays of only a few minutes may mean the difference between life and death.”
Narcan can be administered as a nasal spray or as an injectable.
WCHD lists several locations throughout Washtenaw County that currently provide it for free, including:
- UNIFIED - HIV Health and Beyond (734-572-9355; 2287 Ellsworth Rd, Suite B Ypsilanti, MI 48197; FREE)
- Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project (WRAP): FREE naloxone shipped to you.
- Ann Arbor Fire Departments have free naloxone/Narcan kits funded by State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services - Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness. You must be over the age of 18 to request.
- Washtenaw County Health Department has a FREE naloxone vending machine in the lobby of our building at 555 Towner in Ypsilanti.
- City of Ann Arbor has a FREE naloxone vending machine in City Hall at 301 E. Huron.
- All five Ann Arbor District Library locations.
- Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is distributing free naloxone to individuals and agencies. Individuals can get naloxone mailed to them by requesting through Next Distro. Community organizations/agencies can request using this form.
- The Community Mental Health Partnership of Michigan (CMHPSM) provides naloxone and naloxone trainings. See their PDF of Naloxone access resources in Washtenaw here.
Additionally, all major pharmacy chains offer Narcan and do not require a prescription. However, cost may depend on insurance and it is recommended to call the pharmacy to inquire ahead of time.
For more information on how and when to use the medication, visit the CDC’s website.
Here’s who should carry naloxone, according to WCHD:
- Anyone at risk of an opioid overdose. This includes anyone who: Has a prior history of overdose Is on chronic daily opioids Has a history of opioid use disorder Is taking sedatives with opioids Recently experienced a change in tolerance due to period of abstinence or recent discharge from jail/prison/detoxification facility
- Anyone who uses other substances that may laced with an opioid (example cocaine)
- Anyone who knows someone who is at risk for an opioid overdose.