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Biden-Harris Administration To Expand Access To Lifesaving Opioid Overdose Reversal Medications

Federal agencies are collaborating with housing and support service providers to improve access to life-saving measures like Naloxone and promote recovery.

December 11, 2023

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) along with the Department of Health and Services (HHS) issued a joint letter to public health departments and healthcare systems asking them to partner with the housing providers and housing agencies to increase access to Naloxone and other life-saving medications in the communities they serve. 

Housing providers play a significant role in ensuring that all public spaces have life-saving medications and that people know how to use those. Overdose reversal medications can be found in many schools, libraries, and other institutions. Besides this, these medications should be readily available in multifamily housing programs, public housing settings, programs meant for people experiencing homelessness, and housing counseling offices.

HUD’s Assistant Secretary Julia Gordon said, “Many overdoses happen in the home, and providing access to an effective and easy-to-use medication that can reverse an overdose is just common sense. We urge our assisted housing property owners and managers to make this life-saving medication readily available to their residents and guests.”

HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Monocchio said, “Our fact sheet made clear that no person who lives in public housing or housing units assisted by housing vouchers should risk losing their lives or the lives of their loved ones to overdoses out of fear of losing their housing. Naloxone and other overdose reversal medications save lives and should be as available in public housing as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.”

A key priority of President Biden’s Unity Agenda is addressing the overdose epidemic focusing on issues where all Americans come together and make progress for the nation. HUD, HHS, and ONDCP are committed to working together and improving access to life-saving measures along with destigmatizing substance use disorder. 

Naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication, has been approved by the FDA for over-the-counter use, allowing it to be purchased without a prescription at grocery stores and pharmacies nationwide. This decision aims to make this life-saving medication more accessible and readily available to combat opioid overdoses. 

The Biden-Harris administration has invested funds in the State Opioid Response Program (SOR) for states and tribes to make overdose reversal medications available to residents at no cost. States have purchased nearly 9 Million Naloxone kits and reversed more than 500,000 overdoses using federal SOR grant dollars. 

The administration has taken historic action to increase access to this life-saving tool by launching campaigns to educate people, increasing the availability of naloxone, providing technical assistance to states, delivering funds to states, and calling additional $100 Million in funds for harm reduction services. 

In a recent event, ONDCP Director Dr. Rahul Gupta, along with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and senior HHS leadership, conducted a live naloxone demonstration to emphasize the significance of raising awareness, reducing stigma, and broadening access to lifesaving overdose reversal medications. Various forms of these medications are available to cater to the needs of different populations, with naloxone now accessible over-the-counter for the first time.

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.


Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Biden-Harris Administration Calls on Housing Community to Help Expand Access to Life-Saving Opioid Overdose Reversal Medications Like Naloxone”. Department of Housing and Urban Development, December 8, 2023, 

Biden-Harris Administration Calls on Housing Community to Help Expand Access to Life-Saving Opioid Overdose Reversal Medications Like Naloxone | / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Last Updated: September 20, 2021