Unintentional poisoning, primarily due to drug overdose, is now the leading cause of injury-related death among Americans aged 25-64 years old.
Naloxone is a Food and Drug Administration-approved medication that reverses opioid overdose and prevents fatalities by counteracting the life-threatening depression of the central nervous and respiratory systems that happens when an individual overdoses.
Community-based opioid overdose prevention programs (OOPPs) that include the distribution of naloxone have increased in response to alarmingly high overdose rates in recent years. Starting in 1996, community-based programs began naloxone distribution directly to high risk individuals. The authors discuss the current state of the science on OOPPs, with particular focus on the effectiveness of the included programs.
Principal findings included participant demographics, the number of naloxone administrations, percentage of survival in overdose victims receiving naloxone, post-naloxone administration outcome measures, OOPP characteristics, changes in knowledge pertaining to overdose response, and barriers to naloxone administration during overdose responses. The current evidence suggests that bystanders (mostly opioid users) can and will use naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses when properly trained, and that this training can be done successfully through OOPPs. The CPR Learning Center Complies with this training.