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
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.