Photo by Health Agency. Naloxone, January 2018.
Photo by Health Agency. Naloxone, January 2018.

Where to Get Naloxone in SLO County

Author: Health Agency
Date: 4/16/2018 2:53:43 PM

Surgeon General Jerome Adams recently issued an advisory urging people to carry naloxone, the overdose reversal medicine, if they use opioids or spend time with someone who does. Where can you get it in SLO County?


Surgeon General Jerome Adams recently issued an advisory urging people to carry naloxone. This advisory, the first national public health advisory of this kind since 2005, comes as overdose deaths continue nationally and here in SLO County.

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. 

Overdose occurs when opioids cause a person to stop breathing. Naloxone works by temporarily removing opioids from their receptors, allowing the person to breathe again. 

"It's the second chance medicine," said Katie Grainger, lead overdose prevention educator with the County Health Agency. "Many of our neighbors, children, parents, friends and loved ones here in SLO County have naloxone to thank for being alive today. These are valuable members of our community who got a second chance—we want others to have that chance too."

Who should carry it? 

Naloxone is for people who use opioids or know someone who does. Surgeon General Jerome Adams explained: "For patients currently taking high doses of opioids as prescribed for pain, individuals misusing prescription opioids, individuals using illicit opioids such as heroin or fentanyl, health care practitioners, family and friends of people who have an opioid use disorder, and community members who come into contact with people at risk for opioid overdose, knowing how to use naloxone and keeping it within reach can save a life."

This may also include people who use non-opioid illicit substances (such as stimulants), 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. 

Grainger puts it this way: "If you or someone you care about is at risk of an overdose, please carry naloxone. It’s like having a fire extinguisher at the house. You may not need it, but it’s better to have it in case of an emergency."

Where can you get it in SLO County? 

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. Options include:

With Insurance 
Certain pharmacy locations dispense naloxone from the pharmacist without a prescription. Please ask to speak to the pharmacist about acquiring the medication. 

  • CVS SLO Target – 11990 Los Osos Valley Road
  • CVS SLO Downtown – 717 Marsh Street
  • CVS Arroyo Grande – 1435 E. Grand Avenue
  • CVS Nipomo – 610 W Tefft Street
  • CVS Paso Robles – 187 Niblick Road
  • Walgreens in Atascadero and Santa Maria
  • Cayucos Pharmacy – 72 S Ocean Avenue
  • En Soleil Pharmacy in Atascadero

No Insurance, No Problem
The nonprofit SLO Bangers Syringe Exchange and Overdose Prevention Program provides both the nasal spray and injection forms of naloxone without a prescription, at no cost, and in a confidential setting. Call 805-458-0123 to learn more, or stop by Wednesdays from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at 2191 Johnson Ave. Participants in this program have reported 75 overdose reversals in the past six months.

Plus: This year for the first time, naloxone will be available at National Rx Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 28 at locations across the county. 

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. The coalition works in five action teams: 

  • Safe Prescribing and Health Care
  • Naloxone: Overdose Antidote
  • Medication Assisted Treatment
  • Data Collection and Monitoring
  • Community Prevention and First Responders

There is much work ahead, and many opportunities to contribute based on your interest and availability. Learn more and get involved at opioidsafetyslo.org

What else did the Surgeon General say? 

Read Surgeon General Jerome Adams' full statement and see related resources at www.surgeongeneral.gov