Naloxone saves lives. Have it on hand.

If you think someone is experiencing an overdose, call 9-1-1 immediately and give them naloxone.

We all can play a role in reducing drug overdose deaths. Even if you don’t use drugs or you don’t know of anyone who does, you can still be prepared for an overdose emergency.

Anyone, using any street drug, in any quantity, can accidentally overdose. That’s because fentanyl (an opioid 50x stronger than heroin) is present all throughout today’s drug supply, mixed into everything from heroin to cocaine to fake prescription pills.

All it takes is a tiny bit of fentanyl (less than a few grains of sand) to stop a person’s breathing. When that happens, you can save their life by giving them naloxone.

What is naloxone?

Naloxone (commonly referred to as Narcan®) is an opioid antagonist, or in other words, an overdose reversal medication. It’s available as a nasal spray or an injection.

Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and can restore normal breathing. Timing is critical – the sooner the better – and you may need to give more than one dose.

Can naloxone be harmful?

No – naloxone will not harm a person who is not experiencing an opioid overdose. It is not addictive and it has no abuse potential. There is no minimum age to use it, and having it on hand poses no danger to adults or children.

illustration of a hand holding naloxone nasal spray

Where can I get naloxone in Maine?

There are many places to get naloxone for yourself, a loved one, or your organization. In the case of an opioid overdose emergency, you’ll want to have it on hand and accessible.

At a pharmacy

If you have a prescription, many health insurance plans cover all or most of the cost of naloxone.

If you don’t have a prescription, you can still purchase the nasal spray over the counter. 

NEW (Sept. 2023) – If you have MaineCare, your insurance will cover a two-dose nasal spray kit – just head to the pharmacy counter and they’ll take care of the details (learn more about the MaineCare standing order for naloxone here).


Who is this option best for?

For anyone who wants to have naloxone on hand in case of an overdose emergency.

By Prescription (along with any opioid prescription)

If you or a loved one are prescribed an opiate, you can request a naloxone prescription to go with it. Your insurance may cover it partially or completely (MaineCare will). 

Who is this option best for?

For people taking a prescription opiate, such as OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin, Norco or Lortab (hydrocodone with acetaminophen), Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen), or tramadol.

From local and state organizations

To search for organizations that distribute free naloxone, visit: https://getmainenaloxone.org

Who is this option best for?

Distributors may give priority to people who use drugs, and also to the people around them (family members, loved ones). Everyone can use the site to find their nearest naloxone distributors.

Via your local OPTIONS Liaison

Each Maine county has a local Liaison who can connect you to free naloxone. Find your Liaison.

Who is this option best for?

For anyone who uses substances or who has a loved one that uses substances.

How to Use Naloxone

Nasal Naloxone

Steps to use nasal naloxone

  • Call 9-1-1. Emergency medical care may be necessary even after using naloxone.
  • Place your thumb on the plunger and your fingers on either side of the nose tube.
  • Gently insert the nozzle in one nostril of the person.
  • Press the plunger to spray the entire dose of naloxone into one nostril.
  • If there is no response in 2-3 minutes, use an additional dose, alternating nostrils. Repeat if necessary.
  • Stay with the person while you wait for the paramedics to arrive.

Injectable Naloxone