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Narcan Kit
Photo Credit: Smithsonian


Normalizing Naloxone in Washington state: Resources, certifications and more

As many of us know, the EDM scene is no stranger to the effects of narcotics. And, as we also know, sometimes those effects can be fatal. But here at DMNW, we believe in not only talking about the subject but acting on it however possible.

We’ve all heard the line, “How do you listen to that kind of music sober?” from those who may not enjoy the world of electronic music as much as we do, but they aren’t necessarily wrong. While not all of us partake in ingesting certain party favors, we can’t deny there are those of us who do.

Whether it’s your preference to participate or simply look out for those who choose to, we have compiled some resources on how to help in an emergency. Washington state is expanding access to the life-saving Naloxone medication, now offered for free over-the-counter and at other settings.

Need to know basics about Naloxone

As a revolutionary advancement in reducing the fatality rate of overdose, Naloxone is a life-saving medicine that attaches to opioid receptors and rapidly reverses effects and blocks opioids inside the body. The medicine comes in two different deliveries: intra-nasal or intra-muscular. This means one method is a spray administered through the nostril and the other through a needle into the bicep.

Whichever delivery is chosen, the medicine cannot cause negative effects on the receiver either way, even if it is ultimately found there are no opioids in the system.

NARCAN is a form of Naloxone hydrochloride that comes in a 4mg dose of nasal spray. While Naloxone is available in multiple forms from different manufacturers, NARCAN is the most commonly used form.

Free access to Naloxone and testing

No matter where you live within Washington, Naloxone can now be accessed for all residents for free by mail, walk-in locations, and even vending machines. In addition to Naloxone, fentanyl tests are also becoming very widely used and available. Vending machines across King and Pierce Counties are stocked with both NARCAN and fentanyl testing strips for quick, on-demand access to the life-saving items.

There are tons of resources for how to prepare yourself to help in cases of emergency, and we’ll link a lot of them for you here:

FDA approves NARCAN for over the counter use

On March 29, 2023, the US Food and Drug Administration approved NARCAN nasal spray for over the counter access. This is the first Naloxone product to become available to the public without a prescription. Timelines for availability and pricing remain up to manufacturers, though the FDA encourages them to prioritize access and keep costs affordable.

While not every pharmacy is fully set up and equipped with supplies just yet, more join the cause on a daily basis. Pharmacies that carry NARCAN easily identify themselves with signs in the storefronts and on their pharmacy counters and drive-throughs.

Naloxone dispensing pharmacy

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStock

Training and certifications

Though NARCAN is now approved for OTC use, it’s still helpful to educate yourself fully on how to administer it. And to prepare yourself even further, First Aid and CPR classes provide more education and life-saving skills.

End Overdose is a non-profit organization that provides free online overdose prevention training. They also have access to free mail-order NARCAN kits and affordable fentanyl tests. Check them out and get certified here.

Many different providers host First Aid and CPR certification classes, though the American Red Cross is the largest. The Red Cross was founded in 1881, and in its 142 years of existence, it’s come a long way from its original Civil War medical tents. As an internationally recognized entity, they have a board of examiners that determines the absolute best scientific and medical practices to provide life-saving care.

The Red Cross is now incorporating overdose prevention into its certification courses as well. All certification costs go to aiding one of the world’s largest non-profit humanitarian organizations. They offer numerous training courses nationwide, and you can find one near you here.

Red Cross representative

Photo Credit: American Red Cross

Get prepared and you could save a life

It is always better to be over-prepared rather than under-prepared when it comes to matters of life and death. The saying “better safe than sorry” is a phrase that all of us should be sure to take to heart. No one wants to see a fatality on the dance floor. Preparing ourselves for emergencies is one of the most PLUR things we as ravers can do.

Peace, love, unity, and respect are the core of the EDM scene. Learning to protect and take care of one another is essential to maintaining the culture we all love so much. Offering Naloxone throughout Washington State is a major step of progress which we hope will set a shining example for other states to follow suit.

From all of us at DMNW, be safe out there and spread the PLUR!


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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!

Founded in 2013. © 2021 Dance Music Northwest, LLC.


Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!