From 1996 through June 2014, a total of 644 local sites in 30 states and the District of Columbia reported providing naloxone kits to 152,283 laypersons and receiving reports of 26,463 drug overdose reversals using naloxone from 1996 through June 2014. Most laypersons who reported using the kits to reverse an overdose were persons who use drugs, and many of the reported reversals involved heroin overdoses. Medical clinics and pharmacies have started providing naloxone kits to laypersons, and the reported number of organizations providing kits almost doubled from January 2013 through June 2014.
Providing naloxone kits to laypersons reduces overdose deaths, is safe, and is cost-effective. U.S. and international health organizations recommend providing naloxone kits to laypersons who might witness an opioid overdose; to patients in substance use treatment programs; to persons leaving prison and jail; and as a component of responsible opioid prescribing.
In the most time-sensitive of matters, preparedness is the most crucial part of responding to an overdose. Organizations providing naloxone kits to laypersons receive many reports of overdose reversals and can reach large numbers of potential overdose bystanders. Comprehensive prevention measures that include teaching laypersons how to respond to overdoses and administer naloxone might help prevent opioid drug overdose deaths.
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