Better Availability of Overdose-Reversing Drugs

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HHS is working to better target the availability of lifesaving overdose-reversing drugs. The President’s 2019 Budget includes $74 million in new investments to support this priority. Increased access to overdose-reversing drugs can promote quick and effective response to opioid overdoses.

In April 2018, the Surgeon General released an Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose that emphasized the importance of access to naloxone 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.

In April 2018, SAMHSA announced the availability of up to $4.7 million for Improving Access to Overdose Treatment grants to expand the availability to overdose reversal medications in healthcare settings and to establish protocols to connect patients who have experienced a drug overdose with appropriate and timely treatment. SAMHSA expects to fund up to 5 grantees with up to $200,000 per year for up to five years.

In 2017, SAMHSA announced $44.7 million in grants to help local communities equip first responders with overdose-reversing drugs.

In 2017, HRSA awarded $17.1 million to support all 55 poison control centers’ efforts to prevent and provide treatment recommendations for poisonings, including from misuse of prescription and illicit opioids and released a Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal Program Best Practices Guide, summarizing the lessons learned from grant recipients that supported overdose education and naloxone distribution programs in rural communities.