Multnomah County’s syringe exchange offers clients overdose rescue kits, which include naloxone, a drug used to reverse the effects of an opiate overdose.
Naloxone can rapidly reverse a heroin or prescription opioid overdose, restoring normal breathing to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped.
Syringe exchange clients
Overdose rescue kits are available for clients of Multnomah County’s syringe exchange. Clients complete a short training in how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose. At the end of the training clients receive a kit that includes two doses of naloxone. Clients should schedule 20 minutes to complete the training and paperwork.
Those using prescription opioids
Ask your healthcare provider or the provider for your loved one to also prescribe naloxone. Oregon Health Plan and most insurers provide coverage for this life-saving medication.
Friends and family members
Opioids to have naloxone on hand in the case of an overdose. In Oregon anyone can obtain naloxone from a pharmacist without seeing a healthcare provider first. Map of pharmacies that offer naloxone
Responding to an overdose
Know the signs of an opioid overdose, which may include shallow breath, turning pale, blue or grey, choking or vomiting. If a person is unconscious and does not respond to stimulation:
- Call 9-1-1
- Perform rescue breathing
- Administer naloxone
Oregon’s Good Samaritan Overdose Law
If someone is overdosing and you call for medical help, you cannot be arrested or prosecuted for:
- Possessing drugs or drug paraphernalia
- Being in a place where drugs are used
- Violating probation or parole because of drug use or possession
- Outstanding warrant because of drug use or possession
Resources and Research
- Overdose Prevention - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Understanding naloxone - Harm Reduction Coalition
- Naloxone overview - National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Article on the overdose reversal and one-year morbidity rates in Massachusetts
- Article on naloxone access and success rates in New York
- Review of federal naloxone rescue kit access and success rates
- Review of naloxone success rates and previous research
- Review of bystander naloxone administration and established research