Where to Get Narcan (Naloxone) in Massachusetts
In 2021, an estimated 9.2 million Americans age 12 and older misused prescription opioids or heroin in the past year, and 5.6 million people met the diagnostic criteria for an opioid use disorder. In Massachusetts, approximately 193,000 people age 12 and older misused prescription opioids in 2021.1,2
Opioid misuse can lead to devastating consequences, including overdose and death, with an estimated 2,031 fatal overdoses involving opioids in Massachusetts in 2021. Narcan (generic name: naloxone) is a medication that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose and is available at pharmacies and other organizations across the nation and in Massachusetts.3,4
Read on to learn more about Narcan and what to do if you or someone else experiences an opioid overdose.
What Is Naloxone?
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist medication that blocks the effects of opioids (such as heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, and others) by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain. By attaching to these receptors, naloxone can rapidly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.5
If someone who is physically dependent on opioids receives naloxone, they can experience immediate withdrawal symptoms, which can be painful or extremely uncomfortable but are not typically life-threatening.5
When the FDA first approved naloxone for the emergency treatment of an opioid overdose, Narcan was only the brand name available. Today, additional formulations are available under other brand names, including Zimhi and Kloxxado. Naloxone comes in two different forms: an injectable solution and a prepackaged nasal spray.5
Where to Get Narcan in Massachusetts
You can get Narcan—with or without a prescription—at pharmacies across Massachusetts. With a prescription, a pharmacist can dispense it and bill your insurance as they would with other prescription medications. You can also request a naloxone kit without a prescription at a pharmacy, such as CVS, Rite Aid, or Walgreens.4,6
- Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Programs, which provide naloxone and naloxone training to people who are at risk of experiencing or witnessing an overdose.
- Community Naloxone Purchasing Program, which aims to decrease opioid overdose deaths by increasing access to naloxone in Massachusetts communities.
Is Narcan Available Over the Counter?
Narcan is available in Massachusetts without a prescription and can be obtained over the counter by requesting a naloxone kit at a pharmacy or contacting one of the community harm-reduction programs listed above.
How Much Does Narcan Cost?
The cost of naloxone can vary based on where and how it is obtained.5
For example, naloxone from a pharmacy may incur a cost, depending on whether someone uses their insurance and the specifics of their insurance plan, whereas many community-based programs offer naloxone for free.
Costs may also vary depending on the form of naloxone.5
When & How to Use Narcan
Narcan can be administered to any person who shows signs of opioid overdose or in a situation where there is a suspected overdose.5
It’s safe to give naloxone if you’re unsure of the substance taken. Naloxone only has an effect if opioids were taken and will have no effect if the person did not take them. If you suspect opioid overdose, give naloxone immediately.7
There are two FDA-approved forms of naloxone—nasal spray and injectable—that people can administer without medical training:7
- The nasal spray contains a prefilled dose that can be delivered easily into a person’s nostril.
- The injectable solutions are prepackaged with either a vial of naloxone and a syringe or an auto-injector device.
- Once opened and turned on, the auto-injector provides verbal instructions to the user on how to inject the medicine into the outer thigh muscle or under the skin.
Both the injectable and nasal spray packages contain two doses, in case a second dose is needed.
Learn How to Use Narcan with Our Training Video
Narcan Training in Massachusetts
Community-based programs in Massachusetts that offer free naloxone may also offer or require training on how to administer it. The list below includes some helpful resources:
- The Massachusetts Department of Public Health offers training resources on how to reverse an overdose and a free download on overdose education and naloxone distribution.
- The Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse offers materials on alcohol and other substances, including several opioid-specific resources with information on how to reverse an opioid overdose using naloxone.
- The Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline can be reached at 1-800-327-5050 for more information on where to find overdose prevention training and other local resources.
- Learn to Cope is a support network for people and families dealing with addiction. It offers information and training resources on Narcan, as well as in-person and virtual meeting options.
Opioid Addiction Treatment at AdCare
Addiction is a chronic and complex condition, but it is treatable.
At AdCare Treatment Centers, we offer personalized, evidence-based care at our various locations in New England, including our Massachusetts inpatient rehab facility and inpatient addiction treatment program in Rhode Island.
To learn more about our programs or rehab admissions process, contact us at to speak with an admissions navigator. Together, you can discuss treatment and payment options, including how to use health insurance for addiction treatment.
If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid misuse or addiction, you are not alone. Call us to start the path to recovery today.