Naloxone now available for emergency overdose treatment via standing order
Author: Dr. SreyRam Kuy, Medicaid Medical Director
Louisiana is ranked first in opioid prescribing of all 50 states. The Louisiana Department of Health continues to work with partners throughout the state to address the opioid epidemic and develop potential solutions.
The State of Louisiana recently issued a “standing order” for naloxone. Naloxone is an antidote medication that reverses an opioid overdose. Used by medical professionals for years, naloxone is the most effective way to counteract an overdose and save lives.
The standing order is the result of legislation that made it legal for medical professionals to prescribe naloxone. It allows for participating pharmacists to dispense naloxone to laypeople including caregivers, family and friends of an opioid user. Laypeople who come to the aid of an individual who has overdosed on heroin, morphine or other opioid drugs can now receive the lifesaving medication naloxone without having to get a direct prescription from a doctor.
Health care experts say that making naloxone widely available is an important tool in saving the lives of people who have overdosed on opioids. For example, in Wilkes County, North Carolina, making naloxone easily available to laypeople has resulted in a decrease in overdose deaths by 42 percent and a decrease in drug-related hospital emergency department visits by 15 percent.
Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, signed the standing order.