Take home naloxone – a key component in COVID-19 preparedness


Man collects medicine from pharmacist

Take home naloxone is an important life-saving medicine for people using opioids and should be part of any COVID-19 safety and emergency preparations. Naloxone is a short-acting opioid antagonist drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. With basic training, the drug can be safely and effectively used by non-health workers in community settings.

For up to date information, advice and facts on COVID-19 (coronavirus) visit preview.nsw.gov.au/covid-19 and follow NSW Health on Facebook and Twitter.

To increase community access to naloxone, NSW Health is expanding the Opioid Overdose Response & Take Home Naloxone program to all Local Health Districts by April 2020. Through this program, health workers can supply naloxone to community members who might experience or witness an opioid overdose, and teach them how to use the medicine.

Nyxoid® nasal spray and Prenoxad® pre-filled syringe are available for free without a prescription from community pharmacies and NSW Needle and Syringe Programs (NSP) registered in the Australian Government take home naloxone pilot program. Visit the Take Home Naloxone page to find out which community pharmacies and NSPs are supplying take home naloxone for free in your area.

Naloxone is for anyone at risk of overdosing on opioid drugs or anyone who may witness an opioid overdose.

People in the following circumstances should consider keeping a supply of naloxone close by:

  • People on high doses of opioid pain medicines 
  • People who use opioid drugs 
  • People returning to opioid use after a period of stopping or quitting 
  • People who use opioids in combination with other drugs or medicines 
  • Family, friends or loved ones of people who use opioid drugs

For information for healthcare professionals visit health.nsw.gov.au/aod/programs/Pages/naloxone.aspx.

For free and confidential advice 24/7, including up-to-date information about service availability in your area during the COVID-19 pandemic, call Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015. Counsellors are available to provide counselling, information, referrals, and support. Or start a Web Chat with an ADIS counsellor online Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5:00pm.

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