Resources & Information


Expanded access to overdose “rescue” drug

A new state law signed in June by Gov. Pat McCrory authorizes NC’s State Health Director to issue a statewide standing order for the opioid overdosereversal medication naloxone, clearing the way for pharmacies in the state to provide the drug without a prescription.

The law allows pharmacies to provide naloxone to opioid users and/or family members of opioid users. Previously, the medication could be dispensed only with a prescription or with a standing order issued by a physician. Session Law 2016-17 took effect June 20.

North Carolina is the third state in the country to issue a statewide standing prescription order for naloxone.

Naloxone prevents opioid overdose by blocking the brain’s opioid receptors. This averts respiratory depression, which is the typical cause of death in cases of opioid overdose. Naloxone is harmless to people who are not experiencing opioid overdose.