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

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).

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.

Addiction stigma and the production of impediments to take-home naloxone uptake

Abstract: Opioid overdose deaths are a major health issue in Australia and around the world. Programmes to provide opioid consumers with ‘take-home’ naloxone to reverse overdose exist internationally, but uptake by mainstream health services and consumers remains inconsistent. Researchers have identified a range of important educational, training and logistical impediments to take-home naloxone uptake and distribution, yet they have focused less on the social dynamics that can enhance or limit access, such as stigma.

Trends in awareness, uptake and deployment of naloxone among a sample of people who inject drugs in Australia

Opioid overdose is a major public health issue associated with substantial morbidity and mortality in Australia. Indeed, nearly half the IDRS sample in 2019 reported having experienced an opioid overdose. Naloxone is an important intervention which reverses opioid overdose and has been available over-the-counter in Australia since 2016. This bulletin describes the awareness of naloxone and the take-home naloxone program in Australia, both nationally and by jurisdiction. It also explores access, use and acceptance of naloxone, and examines demographic differences for these aspects.

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.

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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