FEATURED RESEARCH

Finding a Needle in a Haystack: Take-Home Naloxone in England 2017/18

Release surveyed each of the 152 local authority areas in England, as local authorities are responsible for commissioning drug services, which give out take-home naloxone. The report includes findings on the availability of take-home naloxone across local authority areas, the scale of take-home naloxone supply in community settings, and coverage among people who use opiates and opiate clients in drug treatment.

Recomendations
  • Recommendation 1
    Take-home naloxone should be provided in every local authority in England.
  • Recommendation 2
    Local authorities should be giving out at least one take-home naloxone kit for every person using opiates in their area.
  • Recommendation 3
    Local authorities should make take-home naloxone available to any person requesting it, particularly to groups that are at risk of having an opiate-related overdose or are likely to witness someone having an opiate-related overdose.
  • Recommendation 4
    Local authorities should remove any unnecessary requirements to receive take-home naloxone, particularly requirements to engage with services providing take-home naloxone.
  • Recommendation 5
    Local authorities should monitor take-home naloxone provision in their area, including by recording the number of naloxone kits purchased and dispensed, and by monitoring expiry dates of naloxone for recalls and reissues.
  • Recommendation 6
    Support and guidance for local authorities on the local provision of naloxone should be provided nationally in England as a matter of urgency to assist in co-ordination and monitoring of provision and gaps.

Latest Research

National naloxone programme Scotland – Quarterly monitoring bulletin: July to September (Q2) 2021 to 2022

This release by Public Health Scotland presents information on the number of take-home naloxone kits issued by the National Naloxone Programme in Scotland. Figures are presented separately for kits issued from community outlets, kits issued in prisons at the point of prisoner release, kits dispensed via community prescription, and kits issued by Scottish Ambulance Service.

Does naloxone provision lead to increased substance use? A systematic review to assess if there is evidence of a ‘moral hazard’ associated with naloxone supply

Take home naloxone (THN) programs have been rapidly upscaled in response to increasing opioid-related mortality. One often cited concern is that naloxone provision could be associated with increased opioid use, due to the availability of naloxone to reverse opioid overdose. Researchers conducted a systematic review to determine whether THN provision is associated with changes in substance use by participants enrolled in THN programs.

Take-Home Naloxone and the Prevention of Deaths from Heroin Overdose: Pursuing Strong Science, Fuller Understanding, Greater Impact

Key Messages: “Take-home naloxone” is an exemplar of harm reduction with potential global impact – drug policy and practice for the public good. However, “having the potential” is not good enough – there needs to be actual implementation. This will be easier once the component parts of “take-home naloxone” are improved (better naloxone products, better training aids, revised legislation, and explicit funding support). Many improvements are already possible, but we hesitate about implementation. It is our responsibility to drive progress faster. With “take-home naloxone,” we can be proud of what we have achieved, but we must also be humble about how much more we still need to do.

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.

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.

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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