Safeguard linkage to treatment after overdose reversal.
Naloxone is lifesaving, but must include follow-up with treatment to prevent another overdose and connect the individual to substance use disorder treatment. The current system of naloxone education and distribution creates a “touchpoint” with a healthcare professional, addiction specialist, or other practitioner. These interactions allow for education around addiction, possible treatment options, and family support. It also provides for a positive interaction with the healthcare system that can lead to rapport building, safety, and other harm reduction strategies. Stakeholders expressed concern that purchasing an OTC medication does not lend itself to the same opportunity for education and linkage to care, which would in effect represent a lost opportunity to engage patients with needed treatment.