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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Getting Naloxone Is Easier Than You Might Think 

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office
Narcan, a brand name form of naloxone, is a medication that can block the effects of opioids and reverse overdoses.

The U.S. Surgeon General wants more Americans to carry the overdose reversal drug naloxone.

So how do you get it?

Both Washington and Oregon allow you to ask your doctor for a naloxone prescription. But you may not even need that. Some pharmacies are allowed to directly prescribe naloxone, just like they do with flu shots. The price can range from $20 to over $100, although insurance may cover the cost.

Training to use the drug isn’t required, but you are advised to watch one of the many training videos available online—like this one from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office:

Family and friends of those at risk for an opioid overdose are especially encouraged to consider carrying naloxone. In Washington in 2016, there were nearly 700 reported instances when naloxone was used to reverse an overdose.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."