Naloxone: Maine Law and Fact Sheet

Naloxone: Maine Law and Fact Sheet

Created on: Monday, March 14, 2016
Author: Peter MIchaud


With the alarming news about 272 overdose deaths in Maine in 2015, we thought it might be a good idea to put some information out about Naloxone (AKA Narcan®). This post will deal with two aspects of Naloxone: Maine laws currently in effect which relate to naloxone, and a Fact Sheet on naloxone for those of our readers who are not medical clinicians. (Thanks to Alison Jones Webb of the Maine Harm Reduction Alliance for the Fact Sheet!)

Maine Laws relating to Naloxone

        Prescription, possession, and administration (22 M.R.S.A. § 2353(2)):

·        A health care professional may directly or by standing order prescribe naloxone to a opioid user or the user’s family member, friend, etc.

·        An individual who has been prescribed naloxone can provide the naloxone to a family member to administer (no mention of friends – only “immediate family member”).

·        A family member or friend who has been prescribed naloxone can administer the drug if that person believes in good faith that an individual is experiencing a opioid-related drug overdose.

Administration by law enforcement officers and firefighters (22 M.R.S.A. § 2353(3)):

·        Law enforcement officials and firefighters may administer intranasal naloxone if they have received the appropriate training

Community based drug overdose prevention programs (22 M.R.S.A. § 2353(4)):

·        Under standing orders from a health care professional, a public health agency may store and dispense naloxone to anyone who has successfully completed the training program.

Pending Legislation (LD 1547)

·        This bill, if it becomes law, will allow for the dispensing of naloxone by pharmacists without a physician, PA or nurse practitioner’s prescription. NOTE: This bill is not yet law, since it has not been voted on in the Legislature or signed by the Governor.



Naloxone Fact Sheet

What is Naloxone?

Naloxone is a prescription medication that reverses heroin and prescription opioid overdoses. Naloxone is also known by the trade name Narcan®. Naloxone does one thing very well – it blocks the effects of heroin and opioids on the brain and reverses overdoses. During an overdose, people stop breathing. Naloxone helps to restore breathing. Naloxone saves lives.

So…what is NALOXONE?

A lifesaver.

Who needs naloxone?

Heroin and opioid overdose deaths are preventable. Anyone who is at risk for an opioid overdose should carry naloxone. Anyone who might reverse an opioid overdose of a friend or family member should carry naloxone.

Is naloxone safe?

Naloxone is as nontoxic as water and has no potential for addiction. Naloxone does not have any effect on a person that has not used heroin or other opioids. Emergency medical professionals have been using it in ambulances and hospitals for decades.

Where do I get naloxone?

Your health care provider can prescribe naloxone, which can reverse opioid overdoses.


More information on how to administer naloxone can be found at:

and .


Visitor Comments

Peter Michaud (Tuesday, June 07, 2016)

Naloxone: Maine Law & Fact Sheet

Dr. Collins, the prescriber's liability to any patient is the same regardless of the medication prescribed. No breach of the standard of care, no liability. Furthermore, under the new Public Law chapter 508, , "A health care professional or a pharmacist, acting in good faith and with reasonable care, is immune from criminal and civil liability and is not subject to professional disciplinary action for storing, dispensing or prescribing naloxone hydrochloride in accordance with this section or for any outcome resulting from such actions." The old law, still in effect, provides that law enforcement officers and firefighters " may administer intranasal naloxone hydrochloride as clinically indicated if the officer or firefighter has received medical training in accordance with protocols adopted by the Medical Direction and Practices Board established in Title 32, section 83, subsection 16-B."

Doug Collins, MD (Tuesday, June 07, 2016)


Thank you for the Maine specific info. Further legal question - is the prescriber liability for naloxone to patient or immediate family member different than other meds? Also, what is prescriber's liability if prescribing for town/1st Responders? Thank you.

Jabbar Fazeli, MD (Monday, March 14, 2016)

Half life

Thanks Peter. Good post. It is worth noting that the half life of narcan is much shorter than all common narcotics, which means, in case of overdose, the toxicity may return in 30-90 minutes after using the narcan. Translation=Patients, friends, and family should still call 911 since additional doses and monitoring maybe required.

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