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


Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, [Email]


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%).
CONCLUSIONS : 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.

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