Programs & Initiatives in Communities
Expanding Naloxone Access for Preventing Opioid Overdose
Naloxone is a potentially lifesaving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose. Visit Opioid Overdose Prevention & Control for more information.
Minnesota is experiencing an alarming increase in drug overdose deaths. In 2015, nearly half of all drug-related deaths were related to opiate pain relievers and heroin. Drug overdose deaths among Minnesota residents, 2000-2015.
In 2016, the Minnesota Legislature responded to the continued increase in statewide opioid overdoses by passing Session Law, Chapter 124. One of the goals of this legislation is to increase the availability of naloxone through pharmacies across Minnesota.
Pharmacists, in collaboration with a registered practitioner, may enter a written protocol to provide naloxone to persons at risk for, or know of someone at risk for, opioid overdose.
Dispensing naloxone – pharmacists
Pharmacists may enter a written protocol with:
Option A: Any Minnesota Licensed Practitioner
- Pharmacists may enter into a written protocol in collaboration with a licensed practitioner, who is permitted by law to prescribe an opiate antagonist, such as a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant. Together they may either use the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy’s Opiate Antagonist Protocol developed as a result of the 2016 legislation or develop their own protocol.
Option B: A local Community Health Board Medical Consultant
- Your local Community Health Board may have designated a local medical consultant (e.g., health department medical director) as the prescriber of record for your community. Check the MN Opiate Antagonist Prescribers of Record list below to find the designated prescriber of record for your community.
Prescriber of Record – Minnesota Department of Health Medical Director Ruth Lynfield, MD
Point of contact – Dana Farley firstname.lastname@example.org
- Aitkin-Itasca-Koochiching CHB
- Anoka County CHB
- Benton County Human Services
- Blue Earth County CHB
- Brown-Nicollet CHB
- Cass County Health, Human and Veterans Services
- Crow Wing County CHB
- Dakota County CHB
- Faribault-Martin CHB
- Fillmore-Houston CHB
- Goodhue County HHS
- Hennepin County CHB
- Isanti County CHB
- Kandiyohi-Renville CHB
- Le Sueur-Waseca CHB
- Meeker-McLeod-Sibley CHB
- Morrison-Todd-Wadena CHB
- Mower County CHB
- North Country CHB
- Partnership4Health CHB
- Pine County CHB
- Sherburne County CHB
- St. Paul-Ramsey County CHB
- Wabasha County CHB
- Washington County CHB
- Wright County CHB
Presciber of Record – Local
- Carver County CHB – David Willey, MD
Prescriber of Record – Undesignated
- Carlton-Cook-Lake-St. Louise CHB
- Chisago County CHB
- City of Bloomington CHB
- City of Edina CHB
- City of Minneapolis CHB
- City of Richfield CHB
- Countryside CHB
- Des Moines Valley HHS
- Dodge-Steele CHB
- Freeborn County CHB
- Horizon Public Health
- Human Services of Faribault and Martin Counties
- Kanabec CHB
- Mille Lacs County CHB
- Nobles Ccounty CHB
- Olmsted County CHB
- Polk-Norman-Mahnomen CHB
- Quin County CHB
- Rice County CHB
- Scott County CHB
- Southwest Human and Health Services (SWHHS)
- Stearns County CHB
- Watonwan County CHB
- Winona County CHB
Option C: Minnesota Department of Health’s Medical Director
- Pharmacists who need a licensed practitioner also have the option of entering into the Board of Pharmacy’s Opiate Antagonist Protocol with the Minnesota Department of Health’s Medical Director, Ruth Lynfield, MD. To enter this protocol, pharmacists, group pharmacies and chain pharmacies must complete the Opiate Antagonist Protocol Registration form at their earliest convenience. For questions or concerns regarding this option, please contact Dana Farley, MS, Alcohol and Drug Policy Director at email@example.com.
Prescribing naloxone – designated (or registered) practitioners
Release of Liability
All licensed health care professionals may directly or by standing order, prescribe, dispense, distribute, or administer naloxone to a person without being subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution per 2016 Minnesota Statutes 604A.04 Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention. This immunity is also extended to the Commissioner of Health and Minnesota Department of Health practitioner by section 3.736, subdivision 9.
Laws and Protocol
This statutory language, enacted during the 2016 Legislative Session, requires the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy to develop an opiate antagonist protocol. Community Health Board medical consultants or a practitioner working for the Minnesota Department of Health may enter into this protocol with any licensed pharmacist(s). This subdivision also extends certain liability protections to the medical consultants and the practitioner.
The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy has developed a written protocol for the use of pharmacists who want to work with medical consultants of Community Health Boards, and the Minnesota Department of Health’s practitioner. Pharmacists may also use this protocol if they are working with a different practitioner. However, pharmacists are not required to use this protocol in order to be involved in the prescribing of opiate antagonists. Instead, they can work with another licensed practitioner to develop their own written protocol as allowed by Minn. Stats. §151.01, subd. 27(6). Questions regarding the protocol, implementation and legalities may be directed to Cody Wiberg, PharmD, MS, RPh, Executive Director, MN Board of Pharmacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practitioners and pharmacists are encouraged to complete training on opioid overdose and naloxone.
Pharmacist Letter (Webinar)
Accessible via subscription to Pharmacists Letter.
Boston College and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Through a case study, you will learn how to prevent overdoses among your patients and their social networks. Videos of Patient-Pharmacist-Prescriber encounters model how to provide patient overdose education and naloxone rescue kits.
College of Psychiatric & Neurologic Pharmacists
Drug overdoses are occurring at an alarming rate in the United States. Most overdoses have been linked to opioid analgesics, which may have been obtained from community pharmacies. One potential solution is to offer take-home naloxone. Please note this this training requires an account.
California Society of Addiction Medicine
In 2014, the Overdose Treatment Act, became law in California. It allows lay people to possess and administer prescription naloxone to someone in urgent need who is experiencing life-threatening respiratory depression from excessive opiate use. Naloxone is a nonscheduled, non-addictive, safe, and inexpensive prescription medication which is becoming available in pharmacies throughout the state in nasal spray and injectable forms. To learn how to use it safely requires minimal instruction.
Prescribe to Prevent (Video)
Various short-form videos explaining naloxone use for opioid overdose prevention, recognizing the signs of overdose and responding to overdose.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Equips health care providers, communities and local governments with material to develop practices and policies to help prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths. Addresses issues for health care providers, first responders, treatment providers, and those recovering from opioid overdose. Updated in 2016.
Steve Rummler Hope FoundationNaloxone training guide, naloxone FAQ and training cards for emergency medical responders.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency describes ways the community can manage and dispose unwanted medications.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency also provides information on safe disposal of needles, lancets and syringes (sharps) to prevent injury and disease transmission from needle-sticks.
- In response to the critical need for consistent and current opioid prescribing guidelines, the CDC released the new Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.
Minnesota Department of Health’s report on overdose death data by various geographic and demographic variables.