You are not alone
Naloxone & Narcan Services
Opioid overdose has become an everyday tragedy in Michigan. It doesn’t have to be.
Naloxone is a medication that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. It is a “universal opioid antagonist”—an antidote effective against oxycodone, fentanyl, Vicodin, heroin, or any other opioid.
Naloxone (often referred to by the brand name Narcan) is a life-saving drug and cannot be abused. It has no effect on a person who has no opioids in their system, but can save the life of someone who is unresponsive due to an opioid-related overdose. Naloxone is especially effective when administered quickly. It’s easy to administer and easy to get. The State of Michigan has taken action to assure that all Michiganders have access to this life-saving medication by standing order: Anyone can walk into a pharmacy and request naloxone without a doctor’s prescription.
Through their Recovery United program, CARE of Southeastern Michigan offers naloxone kits and hosts naloxone trainings. Anyone engaged in any service through CARE or Recovery United can pick up a free naloxone kit from their peer recovery coach or case manager. CARE also hosts naloxone trainings, open to any member of the community. Participants learn how to effectively administer naloxone and each participant receives a free naloxone kit at the end of their training session. You can contact CARE to schedule a free training at your location. Each participant will receive a free naloxone kit after taking the training.
Narcan/Naloxone and Michigan Law
Michigan law makes saving lives the priority during a drug overdose—not criminal prosecutions.
The Michigan legislature has issued a statewide standing order for naloxone and Narcan. This means that any pharmacy in Michigan can dispense naloxone to anyone, anonymously, without a prescription (even though naloxone isn’t technically available “over-the-counter”).
The legislature has also made changes to other laws. These shield you from liability when you administer naloxone to a person who appears to be overdosing, regardless of the outcome. Michigan law also protects individuals from being charged with simple possession if they are brought to a hospital for an overdose.
Michigan Compiled Laws Sec. 7403 (amended by House Bill 5649 in 2016):
- (1) A person shall not knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance, a controlled substance analogue, or a prescription form unless the controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, or prescription form was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of the practitioner’s professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this article.…
- (3) The following individuals are not in violation of this section:
- (a) An individual who seeks medical assistance for himself or herself or who requires medical assistance and is presented for assistance by another individual if he or she is incapacitated because of a drug overdose or other perceived medical emergency arising from the use of a controlled substance or a controlled substance analogue that he or she possesses or possessed in an amount sufficient only for personal use and the evidence of his or her violation of this section is obtained as a result of the individual’s seeking or being presented for medical assistance.
- (b) An individual who in good faith attempts to procure medical assistance for another individual or who accompanies another individual who requires medical assistance for a drug overdose or other perceived medical emergency arising from the use of a controlled substance or a controlled substance analogue that he or she possesses or possessed in an amount sufficient only for personal use and the evidence of his or her violation of this section is obtained as a result of the individual’s attempting to procure medical assistance for another individual or as a result of the individual’s accompanying another individual who requires medical assistance to a health facility or agency.