Opioid overdose has become an epidemic in our community and around the country. Drug overdoses kill more than two people per day in Washington State. More than from car crashes.  According to the CDC, overdose death rates have tripled since 1990.  Every day across the United States, 105 people die as a result of drug overdose, and another nearly 7,000 are treated in emergency departments (ED) for the misuse or abuse of drugs. Whether from properly prescribed pain medications, prescription drug abuse or heroin use, opioid overdose is having a devastating impact on our communities and families.

Take-Home Naloxone represents an opportunity to save a life.  Naloxone (also known as Narcan®) is a prescription medicine that reverses an opioid overdose. It cannot be used to get high and is not addictive.  It can be given by a rescuer as an intra-muscular injection, or as a nasal spray.  Naloxone is cost-effective.  A study by Dr. Phillip Coffin, director of Substance Use Research at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and Sean Sullivan, professor and director of the Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program at the University of Washington in Seattle demonstrated the potential savings in healthcare costs, as well as human lives.  According to Sullivan, Public Health operated Naloxone programs around the country have “documented more than 10,000 cases of successful overdose reversals.” Read more about their study here.

StopOverdose.org provides excellent resources and FAQ’s regarding Naloxone, including a review of the Washington State “Good Samaritan” Law, as well as resources for prescribers, pharmacists and law enforcement personnel.

Kelley-Ross Pharmacy has partnered with StopOverdose.org and Public Health – Seattle & King County to provide Take-Home Naloxone in an effort to prevent opioid overdose.  This novel pharmacy-based program provides access to Naloxone as an overdose rescue kit for anyone at risk of an opioid overdose, as well as any one at risk of witnessing an opioid overdose (friend, family member, etc.). Kelley-Ross Pharmacists provide training as well as prescribe and dispense Naloxone in the form of a nasal spray.  For more information on the Kelley-Ross program, including training videos, click here.

Our mission is to prevent overdose by increasing access to Naloxone.  We will gladly share our resources and our CDTA template, which we executed with Public Health – Seattle & King County, with any pharmacy that is interested in providing this service.

Together with better patient education, improved prescribing practices, increased drug disposal opportunities and improved public awareness, Take-Home Naloxone and an engaged healthcare community can have a positive impact on overdose outcomes.

Demonstration of Naloxone nasal aspirator

If you are a provider and have specific questions about our program, if you want help establishing a Take-Home Naloxone program in your pharmacy, or if you are interested in receiving Take-Home Naloxone, contact Kelley-Ross Pharmacy at the Polyclinic.

For Seattle area Drug Treatment Resources courtesy of the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, click here.