Iowa Narcan (Naloxone) Kits Project

Memo from the IDPH:

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), in collaboration with the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) and the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC), are working to resolve the issue of opioid misuse in Iowa, including preventing the deaths of Iowans struggling with opioid dependency.

On July 1, 2018, IDPH added opioid overdoses requiring administration of naloxone to the state’s reportable conditions list. Since then, Iowa hospitals have reported over 240 suspected opioid overdoses (both fatal and non-fatal) treated with naloxone. While that volume of reported overdoses could not have been predicted, what we do know is that if further treatment services are not received for those experiencing a non-fatal overdose, these individuals are at significant risk of experiencing a fatal  overdose in the next 12 months.

As part of our ongoing Opioid Initiatives, IDPH is teaming up with IHA and IHC to help prevent future overdoses by offering free Narcan (naloxone) kits to hospital emergency departments, to be distributed free of charge to persons being released from the emergency department following an opioid overdose.

In addition to the Narcan kit, participating hospitals will be asked to distribute referral information provided by IDPH to help connect individuals with local treatment services.

All distribution of kits should be done in accordance with established hospital policies.

If your hospital would like to participate, please contact Jennifer Nutt, IHA Director of Nursing and Clinical Services, at 515-288-1955 or at, by September 30, 2018, to place an order.

IDPH is funding this project through its Iowa Opioid State Targeted Response (STR) grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Because these are federal grant funds, orders placed by hospitals should be for the projected annual need, based on the number of prior opioid overdoses treated.

If you have questions or would like additional information on IDPH’s Opioid Initiatives, please contact Kevin Gabbert, Opioid Initiatives Director, at 515-281-7080 or at

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