Carry Naloxone to Prevent Overdoses

What is Naloxone?

Naloxone, also known as NARCAN®, is a fast-acting nasal spray that can stop a fentanyl or other opioid-related overdose and save a life by quickly restoring breathing. You should consider carrying naloxone if people you know use pills, powders, or heroin. If naloxone is used, the victim should go to the nearest emergency room. Naloxone is not a treatment for an opioid use disorder.

Naloxone is provided by several organizations in San Diego County. It is carried at many pharmacies (copay may be required), local community clinics, and you can also check with your health care provider to get access. Having people around who can call 911 and help administer naloxone could save a life. You can be someone’s hero. Get naloxone at a site near you.

How does naloxone work? 

Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist. This means that it attaches to opioid receptors and reverses and blocks the effects of other opioids such as heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, and morphine. Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose. But, naloxone has no effect on someone who does not have opioids in their system, and it is not a treatment for opioid use disorder.

What should I do if I think someone is overdosing?

It may be difficult to tell if someone is high or experiencing an overdose. If you aren't sure, treat the situation like an overdose--you could save a life. 

  1. Call 911 immediately*
  2. Administer Naloxone, if available
  3. Try to keep the person awake and breathing
  4. Lay the person on their side to prevent choking
  5. Stay with them until emergency workers arrive

To learn more about responding to a fentanyl overdose, read What California First Responders Need to Know guide written by the California Department of Public Health. 

*Good Samaritan laws are in place in most states to protect those who are overdosing and anyone assisting them in an emergency from arrest, charges, or a combination of these. Learn about the laws here

How do I use naloxone? 

Why carry naloxone? 

Naloxone saves lives. 

According to the CDC, nearly 50,000 people died from an opioid-involved overdose in 2019. One study found that bystanders were present in more than one in three overdoses involving opioids. With the right tools, bystanders can act to prevent overdose deaths. Anyone can carry naloxone, give it to someone experiencing an overdose, and potentially save a life.

Who should carry naloxone?

  • If you or someone you know is at increased risk for opioid overdose, especially those struggling with opioid use disorder (OUD), you should carry naloxone and keep it at home.
  • People who are taking high-dose opioid medications (greater or equal to 50 morphine milligram equivalents per day) prescribed by a doctor;
  • People who use opioids and benzodiazepines together, and;
  • People who use illicit opioids like heroin should all carry naloxone. 

Because you can’t use naloxone on yourself, let others know you have it in case you experience an opioid overdose.

Carrying naloxone is no different than carrying an epinephrine auto-injector (commonly known by the brand name EpiPen) for someone with allergies. It simply provides an extra layer of protection for those at a higher risk for overdose by allowing bystanders to help a fatal overdose and save lives.

Save Lives. Get Free Naloxone.

A proven strategy to address rising opioid overdose deaths is widespread naloxone distribution within the community. Any member of the public can call 2-1-1 to find out where naloxone is available near them. Individuals can obtain naloxone free of charge in San Diego County at the following locations:

Walk-in Locations

Family Health Centers of SD SafePoint Program
Address: Imperial Ave & 16th St
Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 to 9 p.m.
Phone: 619-993-0216

Family Health Centers of SD Safe Point Program
Address: North Park Way and 31st Street
Phone: 619-993-0216

County of San Diego Regional Public Health Centers

Central Region
Address: 5202 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92105
Hours: Hours vary, please call for availability
Phone: 619-229-5400

East Region
Address: 367 North Magnolia Avenue,El Cajon, CA 92020
Hours: Hours vary, please call for availability
Phone: 619-441-6500

North Coastal Region
Address: 3609 Ocean Ranch Blvd, Ste 104, Oceanside, CA 92056
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
Phone: 760-967-4401

North Inland Region
Address: 649 West Mission Avenue, Suite 2, Escondido, CA 92025
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: 760-740-3000

South Region
Address: 690 Oxford Street, Chula Vista, CA 91911
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: 619-409-3110

North Central Region
Address: 5055 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123
Hours: Hours vary, please call for availability
Phone: 858-573-7300

Vending Machine Locations

McAlister Institute 
Address: 1180 Third Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91911
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9:15 p.m.; Fridays 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

T.H.E. C.I.R.C.L.E. by Epiphany 
Address: 5081 Logan Avenue, San Diego, California 92113
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

El Dorado
Address: 1733 Euclid Ave San Diego, CA 92105-5414
Hours: Monday through Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Pala Reservation
Address: 34884 Lilac Extension Rd Pala, CA 92059-2903
Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Address: 33750 Valley Center Rd Valley Center, CA 92082-6022
Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Yaytaanak Wellness Center
Address: 1389 Browns Rd, Alpine, CA 91901
Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Acadia Health - Fashion Valley Location
Address: 7545 Metropolitan Dr, San Diego, CA 92108
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Wednesdays 5:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Saturdays 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Jane Westin Clinic
Address: 1045 9th Ave San Diego, CA 92101
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Southern Indian Health
Address: 36350 Church Rd, Campo, CA 91906
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Project Aware
Address: 2733 Lemon Grove Ave, Lemon Grove, CA 91945
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Father Joe's Villages
Address: 1501 Imperial Ave. San Diego, CA 92101
Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Acadia Health - Oceanside Location
Address: 1905 Apple St Ste 3, Oceanside, CA 92054
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Wednesday 5:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Saturdays 7:00 to 10:00 a.m.

How can I help distribute naloxone? 

The County of San Diego is assisting organizations who would like to provide free naloxone to their clients and community members to help reduce overdose deaths in San Diego. If you would like to become a provider and distributor of naloxone within your community, please email to obtain information on becoming a Naloxone Distribution Program partner. Additionally, the following information is intended to provide tools and resources for programs and staff who will be administering naloxone, distributing to community members, and collecting and recording data. 

Naloxone Distribution Project Toolkit

Example Distribution Trainings and Guides

Education Materials

Data Collection

Naloxone Distribution Program Partner Agreements and Policies

For questions, please contact This box is monitored regularly with responses provided in a timely manner.

Naloxone Vending Machine Frequently Asked Questions

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