Narcan / Naloxone Overdose Rescue

Narcan opioid overdose rescue kit

Vermont's Opioid Overdose prevention & Reversal Project

Opioids are a highly addictive class of drugs that includes pain relievers such as oxycodone, codeine, morphine and fentanyl, street drugs such as heroin, as well as methadone used to treat opioid addiction. In an overdose, opioids can slow breathing to the point of death.

To save lives, the Health Department gives out a medication called nasal naloxone hydrochloride – known by the trade name Narcan® – that can easily reverse an overdose. When sprayed into the nose of a person who has overdosed, the medication blocks the opioids and restores normal breathing. To work, it must be administered as quickly as possible after an overdose. Narcan® is safe and easy to use. EMS and some police carry this medication. Family, friends and contacts of someone who could overdose can also get this medication from one of our partner community distribution sites listed below. Read the latest data brief on naloxone distribution 

See why emergency physician and former Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD believes it's important to know about this overdose-reversal medication:

Know the signs of overdose. Be ready to take action.

Signs of an overdose:

  • slow breathing
  • blue lips
  • unresponsive, unconscious

Take action:

  1. Call 9-1-1 and give your location. Say something like "my friend is unconscious and I can't wake him up" or "my friend isn't breathing",
  2. Start rescue breathing.
  3. Follow directions (in English and Spanish): Read how to give Narcan® nasal spray naloxone for suspected opioid overdose

IMPORTANT – You must call 9-1-1 after giving naloxone/Narcan® if emergency services have not already been contacted. You are immune from civil or criminal liability for giving naloxone so long as you do not act recklessly, with gross negligence or intentional miscondut.

Find an Overdose Rescue Kit Distribution Site

We have partnered with community organizations to distribute opioid overdose rescue kits that contain Narcan®, with instructions for use. You can also get prevention and overdose response training designed and approved by the Health Department at these distribution sites. Find an overdose rescue kit distribution site:

TOWN ORGANIZATION CONTACT INFORMATION
Berlin Central Vermont Addiction Medicine

300 Granger Road
Berlin, VT 05602
802-223-2003

South Burlington Howard Center • Chittenden Clinic 75 San Remo Drive
So. Burlington, VT 05403
802-488-6450
Newport BAART Behavioral Health Services 475 Union Street
Newport, VT 05855
802-334-0110
Brattleboro Habit Opco • Brattleboro 16 Town Crier Drive
Brattleboro, VT 05301
802-258-4623
St. Albans Howard Center • St. Albans 17 Fairfield Street
St. Albans, VT 05478
802-524-7265
Burlington Howard Center • Safe Recovery Program 45 Clark Street
Burlington, VT 05401
802-488-6067
White River Jct. HIV/HCV Resource Center • Syringe Exchange Program

70 North Main Street
White River Jct., VT 05001
802-295-1868 (M&Th 2:30-4:30 pm)
603-448-8887

Newport Journey to Recovery Center • Turning Point 58 Third Street
Newport, VT 05855
802-624-4156
St. Johnsbury Kingdom Recovery Center 297 Summer Street
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
802-751-8520
Morrisville North Central Vermont Recovery Center

275 Brooklyn Street, Suite 2
Morrisville, VT 05661
802-851-8120

Middlebury Turning Point of Addison County

54 A1 Creek Road
Middlebury, VT 05753
802-388-4249

Bennington Turning Point of Bennington County 465 Main Street, PO Box 454
Bennington, VT 05201
802-442-9700
Barre Turning Point of Central Vermont 489 North Main Street
Barre, VT 05641
802-479-7373
Burlington Turning Point of Chittenden County 191 Bank Street, Suite 200
Burlington, VT 05401
802-861-3150
St. Albans Turning Point of Franklin County 182 Lake Street
St. Albans, VT 05478
802-782-8454
Rutland Turning Point Center of Rutland 141 State Street
Rutland, VT 05701
802-773-6010
Hartford Upper Valley Turning Point 200 Olcott Drive
Hartford, VT 05001
802-295-5206
St. Johnsbury Vermont CARES 1091 Hospital Drive
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
802-748-9061
Rutland West Ridge Center for Addiction Recovery 1 Scale Ave., Building 10
Rutland, VT 05701
802-776-5800
Wells River Little Rivers Health Care 65 Main St.
Wells River, VT 05081
802-776-5800
Springfield Turning Point Recovery Center of Springfield 8 Morgan St.
Springfield, VT 05156
802-885-4668 
Burlington Student Health Clinic • University of Vermont Center for Health & Wellbeing

3135, UHC – Old Hall
425 Pearl Street
Burlington, VT  05405
802-656-0123

Project Background & Vermont Law

Background
In 2013 the Vermont Legislature directed the Health Department to develop and administer a statewide pilot program for distributing emergency overdose rescue kits to people who are at risk for overdose, and to family members and others who may be in a position to help in the event of an overdose. Since 2014, the Health Department has partnered with a growing number of community-based organizations to distribute overdose rescue kits containing naloxone/Narcan®. Individuals can get prevention and overdose response training designed and approved by the Health Department at these distribution sites. No longer a pilot project after more than two years of experience, the Opioid Overdose Prevention & Reversal Project continues.

Vermont Law (18 VSA ß 4240 (c)) allows health care professionals acting in good faith to prescribe, dispense and distribute an opioid antagonist to a person who is at risk of overdose – or to a family member, friend or other person in a position to help – so long as the recipient of the opioid antagonist has completed a prevention and treatment training program approved by the Vermont Department of Health. Unless acting recklessly, with gross negligence or intentional misconduct, a health professional who prescribes, dispenses or distributes an opioid antagoinist under this section shall be immune from civil or criminal liability, regardless of whether the opioid antagonist was administered by or to the person for whom it was provided.

State law protects individuals – You must call 9-1-1 after giving naloxone/Narcan® if emergency services have not already been contacted. You are immune from civil or criminal liability for giving naloxone so long as you do not act recklessly, with gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

Standing Order: In August 2016, Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD signed a standing order that allows any pharmacy to sell naloxone to any person who wants to have it, without a prescription. The order allows insurers and Medicaid to cover the cost so people do not have to pay out of pocket.
Standing Order for Distribution of Naloxone Prescription for Overdose Prevention - effective 8/23/2016

Contact Us

Chris Bell
Director, Emergency Preparedness, Response & Injury Prevention
TEL 802-863-7230
EMAIL chris.bell@vermont.gov