Naloxone in Maine saves lives

According to the Maine Drug Data Hub there were a minimum of 29,868 nonfatal overdoses from 2021 to 2023. If those nonfatal overdoses represented individuals, that is over the population of South Portland, Maine, the state’s 4th largest municipality. These individuals survived due to two primary factors:

  1. Someone was there to identify the sights and sounds of an overdose and was able to respond.
  2. Naloxone was available for individuals, law enforcement professionals, and emergency medical personnel.

Since 2019, the State of Maine has made State-supplied naloxone available to organizations and members of the community that wish to have-it-on-hand in case of an opioid-overdose emergency or to distribute to individuals that use opioids as well as their loved ones. From July 2019 to December 2023 the Maine Naloxone Distribution Initiative and the Maine Attorney General’s Naloxone Distribution Program has distributed over 458,000 doses of naloxone to communities throughout Maine.

What is naloxone? (Narcan®)

Naloxone, also known as Narcan®, is a nonscheduled (not addictive) prescription medication that can rapidly counteract the life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system that occurs during an opioid overdose. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped due to an overdose caused from fentanyl, heroin, or prescription opioid pain medications. Naloxone can also reverse overdoses that occur when individuals use opioids in combination with sedatives or stimulants.

Where can I obtain naloxone in Maine?

Naloxone can be obtained in the state of Maine through many locations and programs, including pharmacies, depending on if you are an individual, an organization, or a member of a public safety or emergency medical response agency.

How do I know when an overdose is occuring and how do I administer naloxone?

Although naloxone has traditionally been administered by first responders and emergency medical professionals, laypersons can easily be trained in its use during an emergency situation. This makes it an ideal form of first aid for treating opioid overdoses in individuals prescribed pain medication as well as those who use fentanyl, heroin or other illicit opioids.