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Survey reveals obstacles to use of life-saving naloxone

June 10, 2015

Primary care clinics are seen as an ideal setting for educating patients about the dangers of opioid overdose and the benefits of the overdose reversal medication naloxone. But a recent survey of a small sample of primary care providers identified numerous barriers to this information getting out to the patients and families that need it.

A study involving 56 clinical staff members participating in focus groups found significant gaps in these professionals' knowledge about naloxone. In addition, the participants cited numerous concerns, from fear of offending patients if they addressed the subject of overdose, to worry that patients would be less careful in their opioid use if they had access to the drug, to concern about sending a mixed message about the importance of adhering to one's prescribed medication regimen.

The study results were collected from 10 internal medicine, family practice and infectious disease clinics in Colorado, and were published in the June issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Do you see similar attitudes or knowledge gaps regarding naloxone in the specialty addiction treatment sector? To what extent is naloxone being accessed in your community? Share what you see happening locally.

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