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How do I get free Narcan emergency kits?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on March 29, 2023.

Official answer


If you, a friend or a family member uses opioid (narcotic) painkillers, you may wonder where to get Narcan for free. Narcan is the overdose antidote for narcotic (opioid) drugs.

There are several ways to get free Narcan (naloxone) emergency kits, which include:

  • Local syringe exchange programs per state laws
  • Your insurance may waive completely your copay
  • State or local health depts or other community health services
  • Non-profit organizations for people who qualify
  • University, college and school campus pharmacies or clinics
  • Major retail pharmacies may offer free naloxone (Narcan)
  • Free vending machines in some communities
  • Using employer-contributed Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) dollars to pay for your naloxone (Narcan)
  • Talking your healthcare provider where to get free naloxone

Where to get free Narcan near me?

Laws and availability of free Narcan kits vary by state, so check with your local county health department, pharmacy, or insurance company to begin with, as they can point you in the right direction.

Some states require free online Narcan training with a certificate before they will give you the Narcan emergency kit, and some can even send it to you in the mail. Many states may dispense the generic naloxone over the brand name product due to lower costs. You can also ask your pharmacist, doctor or other health care provider how to use the devices.

You can get naloxone from a pharmacist without a prescription in any U.S. state, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico, but you may have to pay for it. Your insurance may offer a $0 copay, which would make the medicine free for you. You can call your insurance to check. Naloxone is available as a generic medicine and your insurance will usually help you pay for it. Manufacturers may also offer financial assistance.

Also call your retail pharmacy like CVS, Kroger, Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Publix and others to see if they accept Narcan coupons. Free Narcan coupons are widely available online that may lower the cost if you are paying with cash.

States that Provide Narcan Kits for Free

Many states provide free kits, but rules vary based on local or state law.

Locations and contacts of where you can find free or low-cost naloxone, see the National Community Based Naloxone Finder Map. Contact them for more information.

  • For example, in the state of North Carolina, all syringe exchange programs offer overdose rescue kits (intramuscular or intranasal naloxone, along with directions for use) or referrals to sources for naloxone.
  • Many programs provide naloxone emergency kits free of charge to people who use drugs, their friends and family, and other people who may be able to quickly respond in the event of an overdose.
  • They may also offer syringe exchange programs.

Some states like Pennsylvania, Texas or Michigan are now installing vending machines that provide access to free naloxone kits, which can provide online instructions through a QR code. These machines are often found in public places where people can easily access them, such as libraries, clinics, health clinic lobbies or outside a restaurant.

What's in a Narcan (naloxone) emergency kit?

A Narcan emergency kit may contain:

  • a naloxone (Narcan Nasal Spray) device that contains the medicine. Each spray device delivers one dose of medicine. Brand names include Narcan and Kloxxado.
  • injectable generic naloxone along with syringes and needles
  • an auto-injector type device (for example: Zimhi)

Emergency kits used in state-run programs tend to contain the lower-cost generic naloxone options.

A naloxone kit or a Narcan Kit is a rescue kit you can carry with you, keep at home or give to friends or family in case of an overdose emergency. If you carry a naloxone kit, let others know you have one. First-responders, like the police or EMTs also have access to naloxone for opioid overdoses. Friends or family can also buy or request a free kit themselves to have on hand.

What is naloxone?

Naloxone, also commonly known as Narcan, quickly reverses the life-threatening effects of an opioid (narcotic) overdose. Taking too much of an opioid can slow or stop your breathing and quickly lead to death. If naloxone is given quickly, it may save a life.

Opioids are strong medicines and include prescription medicines like hydrocodone, oxycodone or morphine (used for pain), and street drugs like heroin. Many prescription drugs are now found on the streets, such as illegally manufactured fentanyl, which has fueled much of the U.S. overdose deaths in recent years.

  • Naloxone is a safe medicine, is not addictive, and will not hurt someone who does not have opioids in their system. Naloxone is also powerful and works quickly.
  • Naloxone replaces the opioids from their receptors in the brain. This allows someone who is having an opioid overdose to begin breathing normally.
  • Most people usually wake up within 1 to 3 minutes of receiving naloxone. However, it only reverses an opioid (narcotic) overdose and will not reverse overdoses from other drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine.

Learn more: How does Narcan (naloxone) work in an overdose?

Can I get free Narcan (naloxone) kits by mail?

Yes, you may be able to get free naloxone by mail if you live in an area that does not have access to this medicine. A program called NEXT Distro may be able to help you if you qualify. However, they request, due to limited supplies, that you attempt to find naloxone locally in your community first before requesting it be mailed.

NEXT Distro is a non-profit organization and provides an online page for every state in the U.S. so you can learn more about harm reduction in your area. If you have questions, you can fill out their online contact form found on the NEXT Distro website or at

The Naloxone Finder from the National Harm Reduction site is intended for people who use drugs to access naloxone in their community. The Naloxone Finder provides a map to help target naloxone and other harm reduction resources in your local community. You can access this map at

Related Questions

Can I buy Narcan (naloxone) online?

Yes, Naloxone Exchange (nXg), a service of Script Health, provides intramuscular, intranasal, and auto-injector formulations of naloxone at a lower cost, but not for free. Some states have specific online mail-order pharmacies where you can access Narcan or generic naloxone.

To learn more about Naloxone Exchange (nXg) you can call them at 1-312-999-0153 (M-F, 8:30am-5pm CST)

Can I get Narcan (naloxone) over-the-counter?

  • In March 2023, the FDA approved an Rx-to-OTC switch for Narcan (naloxone 4 mg) Nasal Spray for over-the-counter (OTC), nonprescription use.
  • The FDA’s action allows Narcan to be sold directly to consumers in places like drug stores, convenience stores, grocery stores and gas stations, as well as online. The product is expected to be on shelves by the end of the summer 2023.
  • The FDA granted the OTC approval of Narcan Nasal Spray to Emergent BioSolutions. A price has not yet been revealed.

In the meantime, naloxone is still easily accessible at the pharmacy, but it is kept behind the counter. The pharmacist can dispense it to you and provide directions. In most cases, you do not need a prescription from your doctor.

The FDA has stated they are encouraging other manufacturers to make naloxone more accessible by developing naloxone products that can be sold over-the-counter (OTC).

How will I know if someone is having an overdose?

Signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose emergency may include:

  • breathing problems like slow, shallow or absent breathing
  • unusual sleepiness in the person who has overdosed; they may be difficult to awaken.
  • unable to wake up the person with a loud voice or by rubbing firmly on the middle of their chest
  • slurred speech
  • clammy skin
  • blue lips, gums or fingertips
  • stupor (nearly unconscious and insensible)
  • “pinpoint pupils” (pupils in the eye appear very small). The pupils are the black circle in the center of the eye.
  • low blood pressure, slow heart rate.

The most dangerous and often fatal side effect of an opioid overdose is slowed or stopped breathing (respiratory depression). This risk is multiplied when the narcotic is combined with alcohol or other CNS depressants like sedatives.

Patients, family members or caregivers should read the FDA-approved patient labeling before an overdose emergency occurs and learn how to use the naloxone kit ahead of time. This can save time and lives.

Once a dose of naloxone has been given, immediately call 911 and stay close to the person who has overdosed until emergency help arrives. A second dose of naloxone may be needed if overdose symptoms return. Naloxone is not a substitute for emergency medical care.

How does naloxone come?

Brand names of naloxone include Narcan Nasal, Kloxxado and Zimhi. These brand name products may be more expensive than generic naloxone.

  • Narcan Nasal Spray is the well-known brand name for the naloxone nasal spray device. Generic nasal sprays are available. The OTC product is expected to be available by summer 2023.
  • Kloxxado is the brand name for an 8 mg naloxone nasal spray. The Kloxxado device contains twice as much medicine per spray as Narcan Nasal Spray 4 mg.
  • Zimhi is the brand name for a higher dose injectable naloxone. It contains 5 mg / 0.5 mL naloxone hydrochloride solution in a single-dose, pre-filled syringe.

To learn more about free or lower cost naloxone (Narcan) emergency kits, see these online resources:

Bottom Line

  • Free Narcan (naloxone) kits may be available from your state or local health department, community syringe exchange program, your insurance with a $0 copay, or from some local pharmacies, such as large chain drug stores or college campus pharmacies. Drug manufacturers may also offer patient assistance programs.
  • Availability of free Narcan (naloxone) kits vary by state and local law. The best way to determine how to get a free kit is to call your insurance company first to find out if they offer a $0 or low-cost copay.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) Narcan Nasal Spray has been approved by the FDA and is expected to be available on shelves by end of summer 2023, but it will not be free and your insurance will probably not pay for it. Costs are not known yet.
  • If you don’t have insurance, call your local health department, pharmacist, doctor or other healthcare provider who may be able to refer you to free programs. Syringe exchange programs and universities often provide free Narcan kits, too.
  • If you, or someone you know, uses opioids, whether by prescription or purchased illegally on the streets, you should have a Narcan overdose kit close by at all times. The kits contain either Narcan (naloxone) nasal spray or injectable naloxone. This medicine can save a life. Learn how to use it before an emergency occurs.
  • Naloxone is a safe medicine. It only reverses overdoses in people with opioids in their systems. There are two FDA-approved formulations of naloxone: injectable and a prepackaged nasal spray.

This is not all the information you need to know about naloxone (Narcan) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of your doctor’s directions. Review the full product information and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.

  • U.S. FDA Approves Over-the-Counter Designation for Emergent BioSolutions’ Narcan Nasal Spray, a Historic Milestone for the Opioid Overdose Emergency Treatment. Accessed Mar 29, 2023 at
  • FDA 2019, “Having Naloxone on Hand Can Save a Life During an Opioid Overdose,”, Accessed Nov. 1, 2022.
  • CDC 2021, “Save Lives Now,”, Accessed Nov. 1, 2022.
  • Guy GP Jr, et al. 2019, “Vital signs: pharmacy-based naloxone dispensing – United States, 2012-2018,” MMWR. 2019;68(31):679-686.
  • Find Harm Reduction Resources Near You. National Harm Reduction Coalition. Accessed Nov. 1, 2022 at
  • Having Naloxone on Hand Can Save a Life During an Opioid Overdose. FDA. Accessed Nov. 1, 2022 at
  • Naloxone Drug Facts. NIDA. Accessed Nov. 1, 2022 at
  • Naloxone Saves. A harm reduction resource for North Carolina. Accessed Nov. 1, 2022 at
  • How to get Narcan. Accessed Nov. 1, 2022 at
  • Free naloxone vending machines gaining popularity. News Nation. Accessed Nov. 1, 2022 at
  • Naloxone Access: Summary of State Laws. Legislative analysis and public health policy. Accessed Nov. 1, 2022 at

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