Overdose deaths are a public health crisis in New York City. Substances like fentanyl and xylazine (PDF) make the drug supply unpredictable and increase the risk of overdose and other harms of drug use.
Overdose deaths are preventable. Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, can safely reverse the effects of opioid overdose. In New York State, it is legal for anyone to carry and use it.
As a provider, you can play a role in addressing the overdose epidemic by prescribing naloxone to your patients, working with your organization to become an Opioid Overdose Prevention Program and talking to your patients about overdose prevention.
See our Naloxone Prescribing Guidance (PDF) for guidance on prescribing in clinical settings. If you are a pharmacist, visit our Naloxone Dispensing Information for Pharmacies page for pharmacist resources.
Naloxone should be prescribed to:
Note: Patients may be charged a co-payment for naloxone. If a pharmacy is enrolled in the Naloxone Co-payment Assistance Program (N-CAP), up to $40 of their insurance copay can be covered. Ensure patients ask their pharmacist about the program when requesting naloxone.
In addition to prescription naloxone, naloxone is also now available over the counter (OTC). This means anyone can purchase naloxone without a prescription at any location where other OTC medications are sold. The current retail cost for two doses of 4 milligram (mg) naloxone nasal spray is less than $50 on average, although prices can vary across settings and change over time.
Finally, anyone can receive naloxone for free from the NYC Health Department or their local Opioid Overdose Prevention Program. Visit the Naloxone webpage for more information and resources to share with patients on accessing naloxone without a prescription.
Below are some resources for talking with patients about naloxone, overdose prevention, and safer drug use. Some of our literature is available to order in print. Call or text 311 to request materials.
If you work at an organization which serves people who use drugs or people who are likely to witness an overdose, consider becoming an Opioid Overdose Prevention Program (OOPP). Eligible organizations can register as OOPPs and receive naloxone to give to their clients, patients, staff and community members free of charge. Naloxone is provided by the NYC Department of Health at no cost to OOPPs.
The NYC Health Department provides training and support to organizations interested in adding overdose prevention and naloxone dispensing to their services.
Here are some resources the NYC Health Department can provide:
If your organization needs staff training or technical assistance, email email@example.com.