Where to Get Naloxone in SLO County?
62% of overdose deaths in San Luis Obispo County are opioid-related (San Luis Obispo County Coroner's Office, 2020). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges people to carry naloxone, the overdose reversal medication, if they use opioids or spend time with someone who does.
What is naloxone?
Naloxone (also known by its brand name Narcan) is a medicine that can reverse an opioid overdose. It is non-addictive, has virtually no side effects, and has no potential for abuse as it does not produce any high effect. It is not a controlled substance. It comes in the form of a nasal spray or an injection and is safe to give to anyone suspected of experiencing an overdose. Naloxone only works on opioids in the brain and will have no effect on someone without opioids in their system. Overdose occurs when opioids cause a person to stop breathing. Naloxone works within minutes by temporarily removing opioids from their receptors, allowing the person to breathe again. Naloxone will wear off in 30-90 minutes, so it’s important that the individual experiencing the overdose gets further medical care.
Who should carry it?
Anyone using opioids (whether for recreational purposes or under medical care) is at risk of overdose, and is recommended to have access to naloxone. This may also include people who use non-opioid illicit substances (such as stimulants or counterfeit pills), due to the increase of fentanyl found in a range of substances across California. Fentanyl is an opioid that can be deadly in very small doses. It is legal and safe for anyone to carry and use naloxone in case of emergency. One may consider carrying naloxone for many reasons, including:
- using illicit substances, or having contact with someone who does
- having an opioid prescription, or having contact with someone who does
- having a loved one you think is using illicit drugs or misusing prescription medications
- having a loved one in substance use treatment
- living or working in an area where substance use is occurring
- being concerned about opioid use in the community and wanting to be prepared to save a life
Having naloxone readily available does not encourage risky substance use, but can be the difference between life and death in an overdose event!
Where Can You Get Naloxone in SLO County?
In a suspected overdose emergency, CALLING 911 and GIVING NALOXONE as soon as possible is the best chance at saving lives! Naloxone is available at no cost or low cost at locations countywide, including confidential or anonymous settings. It is fully covered (free) with Medi-Cal and is covered fully or in part by most insurance. It is available for people who use opioids for any reason and for those who know someone who does.
FREE & CONFIDENTIAL access to naloxone is available to all community members Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm at any of the four County Drug & Alcohol Services locations in Paso Robles, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, and Grover Beach. Click HERE for clinic locations. SLO Bangers Syringe Exchange and Overdose Prevention Program also offers FREE & CONFIDENTIAL naloxone distribution to all community members on Wednesday evenings, from 5:30 - 8:15pm in San Luis Obispo. Call 805-458-0123 to learn more or stop by Wednesdays from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at 2191 Johnson Ave, parking off Bishop Street.
In CA, pharmacists are allowed to dispense naloxone without a prescription if they have completed the required training. Most major retail pharmacies will dispense naloxone without a prescription, although it is advised to call ahead, to ensure the licensed pharmacist is there and that naloxone is in stock. Ask your healthcare professional for a prescription or see below for a list of local pharmacies offering naloxone without a prescription. Individual co-pay costs for naloxone vary depending on insurance. It is free with Medi-Cal.
- CVS Pharmacy – all CA locations (including those located in Target)
- Rite Aid Pharmacy – all CA locations
- Wal-Mart Pharmacy – all CA locations
- Walgreens Pharmacy – all CA locations
- Vons Pharmacy – all CA locations
- Costco Pharmacy – recipient must have a Costco Membership
- Cayucos Pharmacy
- Cal Poly Health Services – recipient must be a student at Cal Poly
- Nipomo Rexall Pharmacy
What about treatment and recovery?
The County Drug & Alcohol Services team offers services to support recovery and can also help connect residents with other treatment programs. To learn more, visit Drug & Alcohol Services or call 800-838-1381.
What else can I do to help end opioid abuse here in SLO County?
You're invited to be part of the SLO Opioid Safety Coalition to help end opioid misuse here in SLO County.
This group is driven by a diverse coalition of community members, including the County Behavioral Health and Public Health departments, law enforcement, physicians, pharmacists, treatment professionals, educators, community members, people in recovery and others. Since January 2016, this group has worked together on practical steps to address the opioid epidemic on the Central Coast. Learn more and get involved at opioidsafetyslo.org.
Where can I learn more about preventing overdose?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on strategies to prevent opioid overdose here:
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has information on Naloxone here: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/naloxone