Naloxone is an opioid overdose reversal drug widely available across the counter in Australia.

Ballarat Community Health is working with our partners in general practice, pharmacy and alcohol and other drug treatment services to increase access to naloxone. 

Ambulance and coroner data shows that overdose from both prescribed and illicit opioids is a significant concern in rural and regional Victoria. Thousands of lives are saved, and brain injuries avoided each year in Australia by paramedics and community members administering naloxone to people experiencing an opioid overdose.  

BCH Pharmacotherapy Network manager is a pharmacist and has been given special approval from the Victorian Pharmacy Authority to dispense naloxone directly to clients, either at BCH sites or via outreach. 

BCH Harm Reduction Coordinator is also trained and accredited by Penington Institute to provide ‘overdose educator’ training to clients and support people on how to respond to overdose, including administering naloxone. BCH provides direct service to clients in this area. 


Naloxone is a safe, non-addictive medication used to temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Naloxone works by blocking opioids, such as heroin or oxycodone, from attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain, allowing a person to breathe again. Naloxone will only work if a person has opioids in their system. It is available on prescription or as an over-the-counter medication.  

In Australia naloxone is available in 3 easy to use formulations: 

  • Nyxoid nasal spray 
  • Prenoxad pre-filled syringe  
  • Ampoules (which require drawing up into a syringe) 


Naloxone is available for anyone at risk of, or who may witness an opioid overdose. 

  • People who are prescribed high doses of opioid medications such as oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl 
  • People who use illicit opioids such as heroin  
  • People returning to use after a period of abstinence 
  • People using opioids in combination with other drugs or medicines such as alcohol, benzodiazepines or GHB. 
  • People who use other illicit drugs such as cocaine – illicit drugs may be contaminated with opioids 
  • Family and friends of people who use opioids, either prescribed or illicit 


In December 2023, the Victorian Department of Health launched the Victorian Take Home Naloxone Program.  

Victoria’s Take-Home Naloxone Program allows more people who may experience or witness an opioid overdose to access free naloxone from an expanded range of organisations. 

Previously, community members could only access naloxone from a pharmacy. 

Organisations approved to supply naloxone under the program are: 

  • select Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) providers 
  • the Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) in North Richmond. 

Naloxone can be accessed from all 5 Ballarat Community Health NSPs or via outreach by calling or texting the Harm Reduction Coordinator on 0448 871 391. 

  • Lucas – 12 Lilburne Street 
  • Sebastopol – 260 Vickers Street 
  • Ballarat – 28 Victoria Street 
  • Wendouree – 1042 Howitt Street 
  • Wendouree – 10 Learmonth Road 


In July 2022 the Federal Government’s Take Home Naloxone Program was implemented in all States and Territories, making naloxone free from participating pharmacies. A list of participating pharmacies in Victoria can be found here.  

For more information, please contact the Harm Reduction Coordinator. 

Kate Davenport
Harm Reduction Coordinator
P: +61 3 5338 9164

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