Reducing the stigma surrounding opioid use disorder: evaluating an opioid overdose prevention training program applied to a diverse population.
BACKGROUND: The opioid epidemic is a rapidly growing public health concern in the USA, as the number of overdose deaths continues to increase each year. One strategy for combating the rising number of overdoses is through opioid overdose prevention programs (OOPPs).
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of an innovative OOPP, with changes in knowledge and attitudes serving as the primary outcome measures.
METHODS: The OOPP was developed by a group of medical students under guidance from faculty advisors. Training sessions focused on understanding stigmatizing factors of opioid use disorder (OUD), as well as protocols for opioid overdose reversal through naloxone administration. Pre- and post-surveys were partially adapted from the opioid overdose attitudes and knowledge scales and administered to all participants. Paired t-tests were conducted to assess differences between pre- and post-surveys.
RESULTS: A total of 440 individuals participated in the training; 381 completed all or the majority of the survey. Participants came from a diverse set of backgrounds, ages, and experiences. All three knowledge questions showed significant improvements. For attitude questions, significant improvements were found in all three questions evaluating confidence, two of three questions assessing attitudes towards overdose reversal, and four of five questions evaluating stigma and attitudes towards individuals with OUD.
CONCLUSIONS: Our innovative OOPP was effective not only in increasing knowledge but also in improving attitudes towards overdose reversal and reducing stigma towards individuals with OUD. Given the strong improvements in attitudes towards those with OUD, efforts should be made to incorporate the unique focus on biopsychosocial and sociohistorical components into future OOPPs.
Published In/Presented At
Bascou, N. A., Haslund-Gourley, B., Amber-Monta, K., Samson, K., Goss, N., Meredith, D., Friedman, A., Needleman, A., Kumar, V. K., & Fischer, B. D. (2022). Reducing the stigma surrounding opioid use disorder: evaluating an opioid overdose prevention training program applied to a diverse population. Harm reduction journal, 19(1), 5. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-022-00589-6
Department of Pharmacy, Fellows and Residents