246199 Opioid Overdose Prevention and Treatment

Monday, October 31, 2011

Emily Winkelstein, MSW , Policy Department, Harm Reduction Coalition, New York, NY
William Matthews, Physician Assistant , Harm Reduction Coalition, New York, NY
One of the most tragic aspects of drug use is death from opioid overdose. While much lamented, and frequently cited as justification for pursuing various drug intervention agendas, few people are aware that such overdoses can be reversed by the medication naloxone when administered by educated bystanders. Programs have been developed during the last decade that provide such education, and often include distribution of kits containing naloxone (often known as Narcan), the same medication used by ambulances and emergency rooms to reverse overdoses. Programs target communities of at-risk users of both prescribed and street-bought opioids, and have been shown to save lives.

This presentation will discuss the epidemiology and risk factors for overdose, as well as prevention techniques, including the role of community based naloxone dispensing programs. Participants will learn to teach opioid users how to avoid, recognize, and act on an overdose. They will also learn how to assess the resources in their communities for overdose prevention, and recognize the problems and opportunities likely to be encountered in setting up programs. Legal issues involving naloxone as a medication will be addressed, as well as outreach strategies for engaging with different populations, including prison inmates, methadone maintenance clients, and primary care patients.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Discuss epidemiology, physiology, treatment of opioid overdose, and how programs for prevention and treatment of it can be implemented.

Keywords: Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse Treatment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I have worked extensively in harm reduction for 15 years; I collaborate with researchers, public health officials, and harm reduction programs on issues related to overdose prevention and treatment; I have written training curricula on issues relating to public health, opioid overdose prevention and treatment, and injection drug use.
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.