Overdose Prevention For Injection Drug Users

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Lessons Learned From Naloxone Training and Distribution Programs in New York City

Fatal heroin overdose is a significant cause of mortality for injection drug users (IDUs). Many of these deaths are preventable because opiate overdoses can be quickly and safely reversed through the injection of Naloxone [brand name Narcan], a prescription drug used to revive persons who have overdosed on heroin or other opioids. Currently, in several cities in the United States, drug users are being trained in naloxone administration and given naloxone for immediate and successful reversals of opiate overdoses. There has been very little formal description of the challenges faced in the development and implementation of large-scale IDU naloxone administration training and distribution programs and the lessons learned during this process.

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