A review in this month’s edition of the Journal of Addiction Medicine affirms the effectiveness of community opioid overdose prevention programs (OOPPs) in improving bystander responses to overdose of heroin and/or opioid medications. The review finds that properly trained bystanders will use naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses, and that OOPPs are an effective means to deliver this training.
OOPPs typically engage kits containing naloxone that are delivered with training directly to patients at risk for overdose. The training includes recognition, prevention, and risk factors for overdose, as well as how to respond to an overdose, including naloxone administration. The review surveys available studies of naloxone administration and finds a high degree of success in achieving community-wide reductions in opioid overdose deaths. But the authors emphasize the need for "well-designed studies" to assess the true impact on overdose deaths and how best to integrate OOPPs into current practice. Read a news story, with links to the full journal article, here.