Should we conduct a trial of distributing naloxone to heroin users for peer administration to prevent fatal overdose?
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Heroin overdose is a major cause of death among heroin users, and often occurs in the company of other users. However, sudden death after injection is rare, giving ample opportunity for intervention.Naloxone hydrochloride, an injectable opioid antagonist which reverses the respiratory depression, sedation and hypotension associated with opioids, has long been used to treat opioid overdose.Experts have suggested that, as part of a comprehensive overdose prevention strategy, naloxone should be provided to heroin users for peer administration after an overdose.A trial could be conducted to determine whether this intervention improves the management of overdose or results in a net increase in harm (by undermining existing prevention strategies, precipitating naloxone-related complications, or resulting in riskier heroin use).
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Working together: Expanding the availability of naloxone for peer administration to prevent opioid overdose deaths in the Australian Capital Territory and beyondLenton, Simon; Dietze, P.; Olsen, A.; Wiggins, N.; McDonald, D.; Fowler, C. (2014)Issue. Since the mid-1990s, there have been calls to make naloxone, a prescription-only medicine in many countries, available to heroin and other opioid users and their peers and family members to prevent overdose deaths. ...
When is a little knowledge dangerous?: circumstances of recent heroin overdose and links to knowledge of overdose risk factorsDietze, P.; Jolley, D.; Fry, C.; Bammer, G.; Moore, David (2006)Objectives: To describe the circumstances surrounding recent heroin overdose among a sample of heroin overdose survivors and the links to their knowledge of overdose risk. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 257 recent ...
Potential impacts on the incidence of fatal heroin-related overdose in Western Australia: a time-series analysisHargreaves, K.; Lenton, Simon; Phillips, M.; Swensen, G. (2002)In response to the rising concerns about the rate of heroin-related fatalities, overdose prevention campaigns, run by both users' organizations and government agencies, have been implemented in a number of states across ...