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Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug More Readily Available

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. today announced the release of the Illinois Naloxone Standing Order (Standing Order).  This Standing Order makes a drug that is able to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose more readily available to first responders and the community.


“We are seeing an alarming increase in the number of people in Illinois dying due to opioid overdoses,” said Director Shah.  “By making it easier to obtain, distribute, and administer the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, commonly called Narcan, we can help save the lives of some of the 1,900 estimated annual opioid overdose deaths.”


In September 2015, Illinois enacted Public Act 99-0480 (Act), expanding access to naloxone, which can be used to reverse opioid overdoses, including those caused by heroin, fentanyl, and certain prescription pain medications.  The law authorizes trained pharmacists and first responders to dispense naloxone.  However, a prescription is needed to dispense naloxone.  The Standing Order acts as that prescription and authorizes pharmacies, pharmacists, and opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) programs to obtain and/or distribute naloxone.  Non-pharmacy OEND programs may include law enforcement agencies, drug treatment programs, local health departments, hospitals or urgent care facilities, or other community-based organizations.


The Naloxone Standardized Procedure outlines how entities may become authorized to obtain, dispense, and administer naloxone.  It also includes the educational requirements for obtaining a Standing Order, and for administering naloxone.


The Standing Order fulfills one of the duties assigned to IDPH under Governor Bruce Rauner’s Executive Order 2017-05.  For more information about the Standing Order and the recently released State of Illinois Opioid Action Plan, log onto