Do naloxone access laws affect perceived risk of heroin use? Evidence from national US data

Background and aims: Whether expanded access to naloxone reduces perceptions of risk about opioid use has been subject to debate. Our aim was to assess how implementation of naloxone access laws shapes perceived risk of heroin use. Design: Using data from the restricted-access National Survey on Drug Use and Health,Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System and the US Census, we applied two-way fixed-effects models to determine whether naloxone access laws decreased perceived risk of any heroin use or regular heroin use. We used Bayes factors (BFs) to confirm evidence for null findings.

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Impacts of overdose: Evaluating the effects of grief and loss from overdose on people who inject drugs and developing an intervention to address them

Many people who inject drugs, and people who work in harm reduction services, are living with grief and loss stemming from the ongoing crisis of opioid-overdose related deaths. These experiences of loss can take a psychological toll, yet there are few bereavement services available for people with theses experiences.

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Modeling Mitigation Strategies to Reduce Opioid-Related Morbidity and Mortality in the US

Question  What is the projected burden of the opioid epidemic in fatal overdoses, and interventions such as prescribing reductions, naloxone distribution, and treatment expansion associated with mitigation of the epidemic? Findings  In this decision analytical model of the US population aged 12 years or older, under status quo, an estimated 484 429 individuals were projected to die of fatal opioid overdose over 10 years. A combination of reducing opioid prescribing, increasing naloxone distribution, and expanding treatment for opioid use disorder was associated with an estimated 179 151 lives saved when compared with the status quo.

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Evaluation of Injectable Naloxone-Releasing Hydrogels

The mechanical, chemical, and structural properties of the nanofibrous hydrogel enable subcutaneous administration and slow, diffusion-based release kinetics of naloxone over 30 days in vitro. The naloxone hydrogel scaffold showed cytocompatibility and did not alter the β-sheet secondary structure or thixotropic properties characteristic of self-assembling peptide hydrogels. Our results show that this biocompatible and injectable self-assembling peptide hydrogel may be useful as a vehicle for tunable, sustained release of therapeutic naloxone. This therapy may be particularly suited for preventing renarcotization in patients who refuse additional medical assistance following an overdose.

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ddressing co-occurring public health emergencies: The importance of naloxone distribution in the era of COVID-19

Until recently, the overdose crisis has been at the forefront of public health efforts in the United States (US). However, with the COVID-19 pandemic and rapid rise in cases across the country, attention has quickly shifted at the federal and state levels from overdose response to minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Rapid public health approaches have been implemented across jurisdictions, including widespread business closures, transitions to telemedicine, temporary closures of parks, and social distancing orders. While necessary to flatten the epidemiological curve of the pandemic, these public health approaches have largely failed to account for the unintended consequences such policies have on structurally vulnerable populations, including people who use drugs (PWUD).

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Saving Lives in the time of COVID-19

Case Study of Harm Reduction, Homelessness and Drug Use in Dublin, Ireland

Dublin has outperformed even best-case scenarios for COVID-19 mortality among homeless and drug using populations… the importance of strategic clarity and delivery, housing, lowered thresholds to methadone provision, Benzodiazepine (BZD) provision and Naloxone availability were key determinants of policy success. Further, given the rapid collapse in policy barriers to these interventions that COVID-19 produced, it is important to secure and protect these improved policy responses into the post-COVID19 era.

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