Naloxone Training Information


Too many Tennesseans are dying of drug overdoses every year. In 2022 (the most recent data available), 3,826 Tennesseans died a of a drug overdose. Of those deaths, most involved an illicit (illegal) opioid, fentanyl.  With training and the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, you can stop an overdose and save a life.


What is an opioid overdose?

When too much of an opioid is taken, it can slow breathing to a dangerously low rate. When breathing slows too much or stops, an overdose death can occur. Overdose reversal medications displace the opioids in the brain and help the person to start breathing again.

Any time an overdose is suspected, call 911 immediately and stay with the person until first responders arrive. Administer the overdose reversal medication naloxone if you have it.  Additional doses of overdose reversal medications may be needed if breathing has not restarted after 2-3 minutes once a dose has been given. If substances other than opioids are involved, additional medical attention may be needed.

Overdose reversal medications are proven tool against overdose death. The most common product used outside of medical settings is a medication called naloxone or known by one of the brand name products, Narcan. Naloxone can be given through a nasal spray (brand names RiVive, Narcan and Kloxxado), through an autoinjector (brand name Zimhi), or from a vial with syringe. Nalfemene (brand name Opvee) has also been recently released.   

Overdose reversal medications are not dangerous, are not addictive and have no potential for misuse. While training is no longer required for protection under the Good Samaritan Act, training it is highly recommended so that people can recognize and respond to an overdose effectively and efficiently.

If you want to learn more about how you can reverse an overdose and connect to free training and resources for yourself or for a group, please reach out to the Regional Overdose Prevention Specialist who serves your area.  You can find their contact information at this link.

Education and Training

The following video gives a great demonstraton on how to recognize the signs of an overdose and respond with naloxone to save a life.  The presenter is Jessica Stanley who works as a ROPS in the Knoxville area.  You can also access a PDF of training information at this link.

Over the Counter

Starting in the fall of 2023, two naloxone products were approved by the FDA to be available as “over-the-counter” products. These products do not require a prescription and may be found at major retailers.

Community Programs:

  • Tennessee's Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists provide free training to any Tennessean on recognizing and responding to an overdose. Individuals at high risk of an overdose are eligible to receive naloxone and other resources through the ROPS.  Contact your area's ROPS using this contact informaiton page.
  • County Health departments (limited availability)-call to confirm availability

Naloxone from a Pharmacy
Under the Collaborative Practice Agreement, many pharmacies can provide naloxone without a prescription from your doctor. More information about the Collaborative Pharmacy Practice Agreement can be found at this link.

TennCare recipients qualify for up to 2 naloxone products per month with a maximum cost/copay of $5.  CoverRX Prescription Assistance Program includes naloxone coverage. (You can find additional information including eligibility and application through the CoverRX website.)  Many private health insurance policies include naloxone coverage.  Copay varies by plan.  Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) can be used for the purchase of naloxone.

Additional discount programs that may reduce the cost of naloxone at the pharmacy:

In July 2014, Tennessee became the 18th state to pass a "Good Samaritan" civil immunity law centered on naloxone. Additional changes to the law took effect in 2021 and again in 2023.  The Good Samaritan Law includes:

  • Protection for a person who is good faith seeks medical assistance for a person experiencing or believed to be experiencing a drug overdose
  • Protection for the person experiencing a drug overdose

Additional Legal Protection in TN (Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-1-152): Licensed healthcare practitioners can prescribe an opioid antagonist, directly or by a Standing Order, to

  • An individual at risk of a drug related overdose;
  • A family member, friend, or other individual in a position to assist a person experiencing an overdose; or
  • An organization for the purpose of providing an opioid antagonist to an individual who meets the above criteria