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Introduction: The use of naloxone to reverse a potentially fatal opioid overdose is a harm reduction strategy that reduces mortality and increases the potential for referral to substance use treatment for affected individuals. In the setting of outreach performed by a street medicine team, we aimed to determine the effectiveness of an educational intervention involving distribution of naloxone accompanied by a brief instructive session about opioids, opioid overdose, and medication administration. Methods: Our street medicine outreach team distributed 200 naloxone kits to clinicians and volunteers involved in caring for patients on ‘street rounds,’ as well as in shelters, soup kitchens, and street medicine clinic settings. Those receiving a naloxone kit engaged in a peer-reviewed presentation on how to safely use the medication to reverse a potentially fatal opioid overdose. The study team developed and administered a pre- and post-survey of 10 multiple choice questions on material covered in the educational training. The pre- and post-survey scores were compared to assess the effectiveness of implementing this training. Results were stratified by participant gender and age group. Results: Out of the 200 participants, six were excluded from the analysis due to completely missing data from one or both surveys. The mean age of participants was 40.2±12.5 years; 120 (65.6%) were female, 62 (33.9%) were male, and 1 (0.6%) identified as nonbinary. Every survey question had an increase in correct responses from pre-survey to post-survey (identified by an increase in the percentage of correct responses). The mean survey total score increased from 5.5±1.6 to 7.5±1.3. Within the sample of 194, the mean difference in scores from pre-survey to post-survey was 2.02 points (95% CI [1.77, 2.26]), p<0.0001. Males had a mean increase in the total score from 5.6±1.8 to 7.4±1.1. Females had a mean increase in the total score from 5.5±1.5 to 7.5±1.3. The difference in total scores in males was 1.89 points (95% CI [1.42, 2.35]), p<0.0001, and in females was 2.02 points (95% CI [1.71, 2.32]), p<0.0001. Post-test scores improved in all age groups. Conclusion: The educational training on opioids, opioid overdose, and the use of naloxone was an effective adjunct to naloxone kit distribution to volunteers and clinicians caring for people experiencing homelessness.






Community Health | Emergency Medicine | Toxicology




Department of Emergency Medicine

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