DOH makes policy statement on hospital ER naloxone distribution

May 9, 2018

On April 27, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released a policy statement on naloxone (opioid overdose medication) distribution from hospital emergency departments. The policy clarifies state law and affirms that hospital emergency departments are authorized to distribute the medication. The policy is in alignment with federal announcements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Surgeon General encouraging expanded access to naloxone.

Addressing the opioid crisis is one of WSHA’s top priorities. Distributing naloxone to at-risk patients in hospital emergency departments is one strategy to reducing opioid overdose deaths in Washington State.

As part of our effort to decrease opioid overdose deaths, WSHA worked closely with DOH on this policy to ensure hospitals are able to provide (and continue providing) naloxone in emergency departments. We are also talking with Accountable Communities of Health about naloxone distribution from hospital emergency departments as part of their opioid projects.

DOH’s policy is a great step forward, as it encourages hospitals and providers to continue offering this valuable service in their communities. For questions, please contact Policy Director of Clinical Issues Ian Corbridge at (Ian Corbridge)


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