200394 Preventing opioid overdose in Philadelphia: Assessing an overdose education and naloxone distribution program

Monday, November 9, 2009

Emily E. Gibble, MPH Candidate , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
David M. Barclay III, MD, MPH , Family and Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Jose A. Benitez, MSW , Prevention Point Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Background: Heroin and opioid overdose are a leading cause of mortality for Injection Drug Users (IDUs). This research assessed an opioid overdose prevention training project at a non-profit Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) in Philadelphia. The aim of this project was to describe characteristics of Overdose Prevention Intervention and Treatment Education (OPIATE) participants and compare results to overdose and adverse effect of drug fatalities in the city of Philadelphia during the same period.

Methods: Participants (N=99): completed a self-report questionnaire, training session, and received naloxone; are a convenience sample trained between August 2006 through July 2008; are or over age 18; attend the SEP in Philadelphia.

Results: Participants were mostly male (60.2%) and 4.1% identified as transgender. Median age was 37 years. Participants mostly identified as: white (64.5%); 21.8 % as black/African American; 10.0% as Latino; 2.7% as “other”; 0.9% as Asian. Responses to fatal and non-fatal overdose events: 53.8% had experienced a personal event; 39.4% of participants had a personal overdose experience and witnessed an overdose; 39.4% had not personally overdosed but witnessed an overdose event. Other drug use behaviors are quantified.

Conclusions: OPIATE data revealed insights into opioid use behavior such as injection history, polydrug use, and overdose events. Participants had similar characteristics to Philadelphia fatalities from overdose and adverse effects of drug use in the same period including gender, age, ethnicity, and polydrug use. This intervention increases the number of trained opioid users with naloxone kits which may reduce the number of heroin related fatalities in Philadelphia.

Learning Objectives:
1. List 3 components of an opioid overdose prevention project. 2. Compare 3 characteristics of the sample and Philadelphia descendants. 3. Discuss how an intervention could better target the populations affected by opiate overdose.

Keywords: Outreach Programs, Drug Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed this descriptive study from my knowledge of the project at Prevention Point Philadelphia, managed and analyzed de-identified data, created objectives and aims of the exercise, formulated discussion points, and recommended future steps for the project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.