Opioid overdose: How to get help

Opioid overdoses kill tens of thousands of people each year across the United States.

The family of opioids includes a range of drugs, from prescription painkillers to illegal heroin.

Opioids kill by shutting down a user's respiratory system. A medicine called naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, can reverse an opioid overdose and save a life if it's administered quickly.

Here's how to get help.

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If you need immediate help with an overdose

Call 911.

Seek immediate medical assistance: If you're not near a phone, take an overdose victim to the nearest emergency room.

Minnesota and other states have Good Samaritan laws that give limited immunity to those who call 911 to save a life.

Where can you get naloxone?

Naloxone is available at pharmacies and in medical offices across Minnesota.

CVS pharmacies

Call before going to pharmacy to ensure naloxone is in stock.

Find a CVS pharmacy

Sterling pharmacies

Sterling has pharmacies across southern Minnesota.

Find a pharmacy

Fargo/Moorhead Good Neighborhood Project

The community nonprofit offers outreach, a syringe exchange program, a drop-in center, naloxone training and distribution, HIV and Hepatitis C rapid testing and support groups.

More stories: Opioid overdose — and the families and friends left behind

1208 Center Ave., Moorhead, Minn. 56560 | Get directions

• Mondays 11 a.m.- 4 p.m
• Tuesdays 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
• Thursdays 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

Find out more

Minnesota AIDS Project, Mainline program

The Minnesota AIDS Project's Mainline program offers syringe exchange and disposal; condoms and safer sex and injection supplies to reduce risk; HIV and HCV counseling, testing and referrals; connection to HIV and HCV medical care and services; HIV and HCV risk reduction education and assessments; referrals for substance abuse treatment, support groups and basic needs; naloxone kits and training.

The organization offers needle exchanges four days a week, and distributes naloxone on Fridays. Gethsemane Church, 905 S. 4th Ave., Minneapolis 55404 | Get directions

Naloxone distribution hours: Fridays 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Find out more

Red Door Services

The clinic distributes naloxone as part of its drug counseling services.

525 Portland Ave., 4th Floor, Minneapolis 55415 | Get directions

More stories: Opioid overdose — and the families and friends left behind

• Mondays 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
• Tuesdays 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Wednesdays 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
• Thursdays & Fridays 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Find out more

Rural AIDS Action Network (RAAN)

The Rural AIDS Action Network has locations across Minnesota, in Moorhead, Grand Rapids, Mankato, St. Cloud and Duluth.

The organization offers free HIV and Hepatitis C testing, as well as other medical support and outreach. It runs a syringe exchange out of its Duluth office, where injection drug users can drop off their used syringes and pick up clean syringes, tourniquets, cottons, cookers, sterile water, alcohol wipes and antibiotics.

18 West First St., Duluth 55802 | Get directions

Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Find out more

Valhalla Place

Valhalla Place offers addiction treatment, counseling, assessment and support, in two locations.

Brooklyn Park location: 2807 Brookdale Dr., Brooklyn Park, MN 55444 | Get directions

Woodbury location:6043 Hudson Rd., Suite 220, Woodbury, MN 55125 | Get directions

Monday - Friday, 5:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (both locations)

Find out more

Who else carries naloxone?

The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy has issued guidelines for prescribing naloxone. Among them:

• A doctor can prescribe naloxone to a third party (family member or friend) if there's a risk that he or she might observe an opioid overdose.

• Doctors can prescribe naloxone in the form of a nasal spray, and pharmacies can dispense them.

• Law enforcement officers and first responders, working with a doctor, nurse or physician assistant, can carry naloxone with them for use in an emergency.

Where can you find treatment and support?

U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline

More stories: Opioid overdose — and the families and friends left behind

The service provides around-the-clock assistance for people or family members facing mental health or substance abuse disorders.

Available in English or Spanish.

Call: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Narcotics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous offers meetings, support groups and resources for people struggling with addiction.

Find out more

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous offers support groups and resources for people recovering from alcoholism.

Find out more

Other resources

Steve Rummler Hope Foundation

Founded by Bill and Judy Rummler after the death of their son, Steve, and run by Steve's fiance, Lexi Reed Holtum, the organization works with treatment centers, clinics, law enforcement and medical professional to expand access to naloxone in Minnesota.

More stories: Opioid overdose — and the families and friends left behind

Find out more

Opioid Overdose Toolkit

Created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the toolkit offers resources and educational materials for patients, family, friends, first responders, health professionals and the public.

Find out more

Opioid overdose epidemic guide

Compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this guide provides a deep dive into the epidemic in the United States.

Find out more

Minnesota Harm Reduction Coalition

The group is an organization of needle exchange providers, advocates and drug users who offer resources, advocacy and support to drug users.

Find out more

Minnesota Association of Resources for Recovery and Chemical Health

The group is a collaboration of health professionals and organizations whose mission it is to provide support, awareness and advocacy for people struggling with addiction.

Find out more