Using Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdose in the Workplace: Information for Employers and Workers

October 2018
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2019-101

Considering a Workplace Naloxone Use Program

safety procedures

Using Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdose in the Workplace: Information for Employers and Workers Cdc-pdf[PDF – 785 KB]

Anyone at a workplace, including workers, clients, customers, and visitors, is at risk of overdose if they use opioids. Call 911 immediately for any suspected overdose. Overdose without immediate intervention can quickly lead to death. Consider implementing a program to make naloxone available in the workplace in the event of an overdose.

The following considerations can help you decide whether such a program is needed or feasible:

  • Does the stateExternal where your workplace is located allow the administration of naloxone by non-licensed providers in the event of an overdose emergency?
  • What liability and legal considerations should be addressed? Does your state’s Good Samaritan law cover emergency naloxone administration?
  • Do you have staff willing to be trained and willing to provide naloxone?
  • Has your workplace experienced an opioid overdose or has there been evidence of opioid drug use onsite (such as finding drugs, needles or other paraphernalia)?
  • How quickly can professional emergency response personnel access your workplace to provide assistance?
  • Does your workplace offer other first aid or emergency response interventions (first aid kits, AEDs, trained first aid providers)? Can naloxone be added?
  • Are the risks for opioid overdose greater in your geographic location? The National Center for Health Statistics provides data on drug overdose deaths in an online state dashboard. [CDC 2018a.]
  • Are the risks for opioid overdose greater in your industry or among occupations at your workplace? [See MDPH 2018 and CDC 2018c.]
  • Does your workplace have frequent visitors, clients, patients, or other members of the public that may be at increased risk of opioid overdose?

Review the above questions periodically even if a program is not established right away. Ideally, a naloxone program is but a part of a more comprehensive workplace program on opioid awareness and misuse prevention.

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Page last reviewed: October 5, 2018