Opioid overdose reversals using naloxone in New York City by people who use opioids: Implications for public health and overdose harm reduction approaches from a qualitative study

Adverse reactions to naloxone, such as withdrawal symptoms and aggression, are widely recognised in the literature by pharmaceutical manufacturers and clinical practitioners as standard reactions of individuals who are physically dependent upon opioid drugs following the reversal of potentially fatal opioid overdose. This paper seeks to provide a differentiated view on reactions to naloxone that may have important implications for public health and harm reduction approaches.

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Delivering Opioid Overdose Prevention in Bars and Nightclubs: A Public Awareness Pilot in New York City

Drug seizure data indicate the presence of fentanyl in the cocaine supplies nationally and in New York City (NYC). In NYC, 39% of cocaine-only involved overdose deaths in 2017 also involved fentanyl, suggesting that fentanyl in the cocaine supply is associated with overdose deaths. To raise awareness of fentanyl overdose risk among people who use cocaine, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene pilot tested an awareness campaign in 23 NYC nightlife venues. Although 87% of venue owners/managers were aware of fentanyl, no participating venues had naloxone on premises prior to the intervention.

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Community pharmacy naloxone supply, before and after rescheduling as an over‐the‐counter drug: sales and prescriptions data, 2014–2018

Objectives: To characterise the community pharmacy supply of naloxone by supply type — individual prescription, prescriber bag, and non‐dispensed (supplied over the counter or expired) — during 2014–2018; to examine whether the 2016 rescheduling of naloxone as an over‐the‐counter drug influenced non‐dispensed naloxone supply volume.

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Over the counter naloxone needed to save lives in the United States

The United States continues to face a public health emergency of opioid-related harm, the effects of which could be dramatically reduced through increased access to the opioid antagonist naloxone. Unfortunately, naloxone is too often unavailable when and where it is most needed, partly due to its continued status as a prescription medication. Although states and the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have acted to increase access to naloxone, these changes are insufficient to address this unprecedented crisis. In this Commentary, we argue that FDA can and should immediately reclassify naloxone from prescription-only to over-the-counter status, a change that could save hundreds if not thousands of lives in the United States every year.

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One opioid user saving another: the first study of an opioid overdose-reversal and naloxone distribution program addressing hard-to-reach drug scenes in Denmark

Overdose education and naloxone distribution programs decrease opioid overdose deaths. However, no studies of such programs have been carried out in Denmark. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and the effect of a broader “training-the-trainers” model in low-threshold settings after participation in the “Danish Save Lives” [SL] program.

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Cost-effectiveness analysis of alternative naloxone distribution strategies: First responder and lay distribution in the United States

The U.S. is facing an unprecedented number of opioid-related overdose deaths, and an array of other countries have experienced increases in opioid-related fatalities. In the U.S., naloxone is increasingly distributed to first responders to improve early administration to overdose victims, but its cost-effectiveness has not been studied. Lay distribution, in contrast, has been found to be cost-effective, but rising naloxone prices and increased mortality due to synthetic opioids may reduce cost-effectiveness. We evaluate the cost-effectiveness of increased naloxone distribution to (a) people likely to witness or experience overdose (“laypeople”); (b) police and firefighters; (c) emergency medical services (EMS) personnel; and (d) combinations of these groups.

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