Naloxone (also referred to as Narcan) is a life-saving antidote that can reverse an opioid overdose. It has been in use for over 40 years in hospitals, emergency departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS). As the opioid crisis escalated, access to Narcan/Naloxone became an option to the public, as anyone can learn to use the intranasal Narcan formulation to rescue another person. Pennsylvania (and NJ) residents can obtain Narcan at any pharmacy without a prescription.
In Pennsylvania there is a standing order which is a prescription in every pharmacy allowing individuals to request and access a dose without a prescription to them (cost dependent on insurance coverage). Administering this life-saving intervention to someone in need is also protected under the Good Samaritan Act. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has been diligent in providing Narcan to organizations and residents of the city, offering free Narcan days in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia, as well as public training in how to administer Narcan to someone experiencing an overdose. Read about the library project here.