Research

Community opioid overdose prevention & naloxone distribution programs

A Systematic Review

This review by Clark and colleagues discusses the importance of opioid overdose prevention programs in the U.S.

Unintentional poisoning, primarily due to drug overdose, is now the leading cause of injury-related death among Americans aged 25-64 years old.

Naloxone is a Food and Drug Administration-approved medication that reverses opioid overdose and prevents fatalities by counteracting the life-threatening depression of the central nervous and respiratory systems that happens when an individual overdoses.

Community-based opioid overdose prevention programs (OOPPs) that include the distribution of naloxone have increased in response to alarmingly high overdose rates in recent years. Starting in 1996, community-based programs began naloxone distribution directly to high risk individuals. The authors discuss the current state of the science on OOPPs, with particular focus on the effectiveness of the included programs.

Principal findings included participant demographics, the number of naloxone administrations, percentage of survival in overdose victims receiving naloxone, post-naloxone administration outcome measures, OOPP characteristics, changes in knowledge pertaining to overdose response, and barriers to naloxone administration during overdose responses. The current evidence suggests that bystanders (mostly opioid users) can and will use naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses when properly trained, and that this training can be done successfully through OOPPs.

The current evidence suggests that bystanders (mostly opioid users) can and will use naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses when properly trained, and that this training can be done successfully through OOPPs.

IN CONTEXT

This timely review of OOPPs provides valuable information on the nature and effectiveness of these programs at a time when opiate overdose deaths are devastating families and communities. This review will be of help to policy makers and community leaders to help increase the spread and impact of effective OOPPs.

 

CITATIONS

Clark, A. K., Wilder, C. M., & Winstanley, E. L. (2014). A systematic review of community opioid overdose prevention and naloxone distribution programs. Journal of addiction medicine, 8(3), 153-163.

Image Source: https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2014/12/22/overdoseprevention-3_wide-1aae9af04cb483a528834a35864ad32c157ed575.jpg?s=1400

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