​​​​​​FAQs for Healthcare Professionals and First Responders​​​

​1. How can my agency get free naloxone?

​It's quick and easy to become a naloxone distribution partner. Contact the Kane County Health Department at phdopioidinfo@kanecountyil.gov​ for information and arrange for a pick up or delivery of naloxone.

2. Who should receive naloxone to take home?

The short answer is: Anyone who wants it. You should suggest or give naloxone to people who use non-prescribed drugs, take prescription opioids, or have a friend or family member at risk of an overdose. People in the support network of someone who uses drugs have an increased likelihood of being bystanders when an overdose occurs. People who use fentanyl intentionally or unintentionally through unregulated supply chains have the highest risk of overdose. If you are concerned that your patient is using drugs that have been contaminated with fentanyl, provide fentanyl test strips and fentanyl test strip education. You can get free fentanyl test strips from the Kane County Health Department by request to phdopioidinfo@kanecountyil.gov​.

3. Does naloxone distribution save lives?

Yes. There is overwhelming support for the effectiveness of always having naloxone on-hand to prevent fatal opioid overdoses.
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4. Is a standing order still needed for naloxone distribution?

Since naloxone is now an over-the-counter product, a standing order is no longer needed in Illinois.

5. Why is it important to report overdose reversals to the Kane County Health Department?

The collection of overdose reversal data helps us to better understand the prevalence of opioid overdoses in Kane County, Illinois, and the U.S. so that we and the state and federal organizatons we partner with can better support our community. Use this form to tell us when naloxone has been used to respond to a suspected overdose​

6. Where can I store naloxone? Is it ok for it to be unlocked?

Consider storing naloxone received from the Kane County Health Department in unlocked cabinets, closets, drawers, open shelving, desktops, countertops, tabletops, public access distribution boxes, and emergency overdose reversal wall cabinets. These types of locations facilitate low-barrier distribution and help achieve the goal of decreasing the overdose fatality rate. Always refer to your agency's regulations for storing naloxone.

7. Where should overdose emergency wall cabinets be placed?

Public access overdose emergency wall cabinets should be placed in locations accessible to staff, volunteers, patients, and visitors in the event of an emergency, similar to public access AEDs. 

8. Does naloxone distribution encourage drug use?

No. Just as providing seat belts and child car seats does not encourage people to drive recklessly, research demonstrates that naloxone distribution does not encourage drug use.​

9. Can only nurses and doctors distribute naloxone?

No. Anyone who has completed the training​ can help ensure people in our community can respond to an opioid overdose with naloxone

10. Can I give naloxone kits to visitors in the healthcare lobby/waiting area?

Yes, but refer to your agency's policies. If an individual is not seeking other medical care, they should not be required to register as a patient to receive naloxone. 

​11. Why can I distribute take-home naloxone to a visitor but not other relatively safe medications like acetaminophen?

Naloxone has been uniquely recognized for its extraordinary safety and life-saving impact. States have allowed community distribution of naloxone in the United States since the 1990s. In September 2015, Illinois added Section 85/19.1 to the Illinois Pharmacy Practice Act, 225 ILCS 85/19.1, expanding access to the opioid antagonist, naloxone. Naloxone may be used to reverse opioid overdoses, including those caused by heroin, fentanyl, and certain prescription pain medications. This statute authorizes personnel trained to dispense and/or administer reversal agents as an opioid antagonist intervention, per the instructions in the Illinois Opioid Overdose Reversal Agent Standardized Procedure​.

​12. Can naloxone recipients remain anonymous?

Yes. People with opioid use disorder are often subject to shame and stigma, so requiring identifying information can be a significant barrier to the highest risk populations. Your naloxone distribution program can and should facilitate anonymous distribution.

13. Can naloxone be distributed to minors?

Yes. There is no age restriction on distribution of naloxone in Illinois. Minors who are not patients (i.e. visitors, friends, or family), can receive naloxone without age restriction. If the minor is a patient, refer to your agency's minor consent and confidentiality laws. 

​14. Can I give more than one kit to someone?

Yes. There is no limit to how many kits an individual recipient can receive. It is useful to ask individuals if they know anyone else who would benefit from having naloxone available, and if they would like to take extra for them. Often, two to five kits are distributed at a time so that the recipient has extra to provide to their support network and anyone else who may be bystanders in the event of an overdose. This is also an effective way to reach at-risk marginalized populations that do not have regular access to health care.

15. Can I distribute naloxone to organizations or agencies in my community that want to help distribute naloxone to the public?

Yes. There is no limit on the number of kits you can dispense to an individual. If an individual uses the quantity you provide them to distribute to others at risk, this is a fantastic way to increase the impact of your program. If a community organization wants an ongoing supply of naloxone for distribution, encourage them to contact the Kane County Health Department to enroll as a naloxone distribution partner by email to: PHDOpioidInfo@kanecountyil.gov​

16. Should our agency have signs in the lobby identifying it as a place people can receive free naloxone?

Yes. Most people will be unaware that free naloxone is available. Increasing awareness and advertising the availability of free naloxone will help save livesDownload naloxone posters.

​17. What would happen if there was a product recall for naloxone?

Like any recalled medication, the manufacturer would be required to initiate an extensive product recall campaign that would likely include public announcements on radio, television, and social media. Individual agencies and healthcare systems would not be required to provide recall notifications to take-home naloxone recipients.

18. Naloxone I received from the Kane County Health Department has passed its expiration date. What should I do?

The FDA has set the expiration to 48 months. Iyou have expired or nearly expired naloxone, please reach out to the Kane County Health Department by email to PHDOpioidInfo@kanecountyil.gov for support with handling the expired kits and getting a new supply as soon as possible.

Content adapted from the CA Bridge Guide​​ to Naloxone Distribution.