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Overdose prevention

Overdose prevention education is vital to the health and safety of the Boston community.

On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose (CDC, 2017). In Massachusetts, there were 1233 confirmed deaths in the first nine months of 2018 (MDPH Data Brief, 2018).

Overdose deaths are preventable, and can be prevented by laypeople.


Each year in Boston about 10,000 individuals undergo training on how to administer naloxone, the life-saving medication that reverses an opioid overdose.

About Naloxone or Nacan

Naloxone is more commonly known as Narcan. It has been credited with reversing nearly 1,124 overdoses in Boston from October 2016 to May 2017. The City offers education and training to:

  • opioid users
  • their families, and
  • community partners that work or may come into contact with people at risk of overdosing.

When receiving this training, participants will learn:

  • about the importance of calling 9-1-1 in the event of an overdose
  • how to perform rescue breathing
  • how to administer nasal Narcan, and
  • about the various treatment options that exist for opioid users.
Accessing Narcan

Those looking to carry Narcan rescue kits can obtain them in the following three ways:

  • Access through the Pharmacy via Statewide Standing Order. Go to your local pharmacy and request a Narcan Rescue Kit.
  • Obtain a prescription from your doctor.
  • Attend and complete an overdose prevention training (limited supply available.)

To learn more about Narcan, please watch our information video in English or Español.

Overdose prevention training

You can submit a request for overdose prevention training with our team:

Request training
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