• OUR MISSION

    Improve the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting and strengthening physicians' ability to practice high-quality patient care in a changing environment.

WMJ Vol. 118 No. 2: Brief Report

Survey of Southern Wisconsin Needle Exchange Clients Regarding Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Use

 
Amelia Baltes, BS; Brienna Devo, MPH; Margaret Kaiser, BS; Jen Birstler, MS; Randall T. Brown, MD, PhD
 

 

Read the full article:
Download PDF

 

 

Abstract

Background: Factors surrounding opioid overdose and naloxone use must be explored from the user perspective in order to more effectively combat the current opioid crisis.

Methods: AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin needle exchange clients were surveyed regarding overdose victim demographics, interventions, experience with naloxone, and overdose outcomes.

Results: Most respondents (102/108, 94.4%) reported either experiencing or witnessing an overdose. While naloxone was often used (64/102, 62.7%), other recommended interventions, such as calling 911 (44/102, 43.1%) and rescue breathing (31/102, 30.4%) often were not. Potential legal consequences were cited as a major barrier for contacting emergency medical services (42.3%).

Discussion/Conclusion: There appears to be a need for education and/or policy change to facilitate appropriate overdose prevention and use of emergency medical services in the setting of opioid overdose.

Author Affiliations: Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (Baltes, Devo, Kaiser, Brown), Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics (Birstler); University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wis.

Corresponding Author: Amelia Baltes, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 1100 Delaplaine Ct, Madison, WI 53715; phone 608.265.8926; email aabaltes@wisc.edu.

Funding/Support: This study was supported by a University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health Small Grant.

Financial Disclosures: None declared.