​These FAQs summarise the Take Home Naloxone program and may be useful when seeking senior management support to participate in the program. 

Last updated: 26 July 2023

What is the Take Home Naloxone Program?

The Take Home Naloxone Program trains, credentials and legally authorises a broad range of health and welfare workers, other than prescribers and pharmacists, to supply naloxone to clients for free and without a prescription.

The program was developed, piloted and evaluated by clinical and subject matter experts, in consultation with consumers. It has been implemented across NSW in public health alcohol and other drugs services and Needle and Syringe Programs.

The program has been extended so that non-government organisations (NGOs), private services and sole traders that provide health and welfare services can become 'participating services' that supply naloxone to people at risk of witnessing or experiencing an opioid overdose. New agencies are regularly joining the program.

What is take home naloxone and why is it important?

Opioid overdose is a major cause of harm and death in Australia. In 2020, 1,814 people died from drug-induced deaths, with opioids present in 1091 of those deaths (60%)[1]. In NSW, opioids were the drug class with the highest rate of drug-induced deaths, with more than 300 opioid drug deaths among NSW residents in 2020[2].

Naloxone is a Schedule 3 short-acting opioid antagonist medicine registered in Australia for the reversal of opioid overdose. Two formulations of naloxone are provided in the NSW Program – a pre-filled syringe for injection and an intranasal spray.

The National Drug Strategy 2017-2026[3] and the World Health Organisation[4] have identified increasing access to naloxone as an evidence-based strategy for preventing and responding to opioid overdoses.

What are participating services provided with?

Free workforce training, assessment and credentialing

Eligible health and welfare workers must be trained and credentialed before they can supply naloxone to clients. A NSW Health-approved training provider trains employees across NSW. Training, assessment and credentialing is delivered either in face-to-face workshops or remotely via online training workshops that run for half a day.

Free product supply

Free PBS subsidised naloxone will be available for NGOs and private service providers to supply to eligible community members at no cost to the provider or the consumer.

What are participating services expected to contribute?

Staffing resources

No additional funding is provided for costs associated with delivering brief interventions to clients when providing naloxone, undertaking reporting, or for time to complete the training workshop.

Monthly reporting

Agencies will need to enter naloxone supply and brief intervention data using a data reporting system.

Which NGOs and private services are eligible to participate?

To be eligible to participate in the Take Home Naloxone program, the agency must be either a ‘Non-Government Organisation’ (NGO) or ‘private service provider’. The agency must also:

  • provide services to people at risk of experiencing or witnessing and opioid overdose
  • employ an eligible workforce.
    • Only certain types of workers can get trained and credentialed. Relevant worker designations include nurse, psychologist, social worker, counsellor, manager, director, alcohol and other drugs worker, health education officer and community support worker. A full list of eligible workers is published in the procedures.
  • have governance structures in place to meet naloxone storage, labelling and record keeping requirements
  • ensure compliance with Procedures and legal requirements.
    • A Legal Authority enables eligible, trained and credentialed workers to legally supply naloxone. Workers must comply with the program Procedures. The agency must support its workers to comply and sign a Letter of Agreement with the NSW Ministry of Health.
  • agree to supply naloxone intervention data using an online portal.

How do NGOs and private services get involved?

The NSW Ministry of Health is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from NGO and private service providers to become participating services through this process. The EOI process is non-competitive. Many service providers can become participating services through this process.

Download the expression of interest form and submit it by email to: moh-naloxone@health.nsw.gov.au as soon as possible to secure training places.


  1. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  2. NSW HealthStats
  3. Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
  4. World Health Organisation

Current as at: Wednesday 26 July 2023