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naloxone vials

The conversation about naloxone is beginning to surface in the retail alcohol world (especially the on-premises), and some state legislators are considering bills that would require on-premises alcohol retailers to keep it on their licensed premises and/or include naloxone administration in their server/seller training requirements.


Naloxone (you might know it by the brand names Narcan or Evzio) is an opioid antagonist that reverses the lethal reaction to an accidental opioid overdose. It can be applied intramuscularly or via a nasal spray and can have an immediate effect.


According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), approximately 150 people die from opioid overdoses each day. Because the deaths are largely reversible with a single administration of naloxone, individual states are seeking ways to make it more widely available. Most states have implemented standing orders to make naloxone available to the general public without a prescription, and many have also passed laws shielding responders from civil and criminal liability when administering naloxone.


So far, three states have filed bills in their respective 2023 legislative sessions that, if passed, would require on-premises licensees to keep naloxone on the licensed premises and/or included in server/seller training.


New York    

To require that on-premises retailers keep naloxone on the licensed premises for administration to all patrons, staff, and individuals on the premises.



To require LBD (liquor by the drink) retailers with alcohol sales greater than $500,000/yr to keep one unexpired dose on the licensed premises.



To require that approved alcohol seller training programs include training to recognize opioid overdose and administration of naloxone.



California does not have legislation similar to the three states noted above, but several licensees have made related inquiries to the CA ABC. In response, the ABC issued this Industry Advisory, confirming that retaining naloxone on the licensed premises and administering it is not a violation of the ABC rules.

Use of Naloxone at ABC Licensed Businesses | Alcoholic Beverage Control (ca.gov)


So, if you are an on-premises licensee and naloxone isn’t already on your radar, keep your eyes and ears open. I think we’re bound to hear more conversations and see more bills in the months and years to come.

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