Overdose Prevention Strategies
Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar, MD, MPH
Director, Center for Multi-System Solutions to the Opioid Epidemic
American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Assistant Professor, Departments of Family Medicine and Population Behavioral Health, Rush University Medical Center
Many jurisdictions struggle with determining how to make the best use of limited funding for overdose prevention and naloxone distribution programs. Evidence suggests that people who use drugs are the most likely to save someone’s life with naloxone and that higher rates of distribution result in increased overdose reversals. This session will describe a successful pilot project that addressed these issues. Presenters will cover the process of using data to inform the pilot project and describe the project structure, outcomes, and implications for future programming.
The City of Chicago analyzed public health data, including overdose mortality and ambulance encounters for suspected overdose, to verify geographic areas with the highest rates of fatal and nonfatal overdoses. Areas of priority included those with less economic opportunity and whose residents were predominantly African-American. Information from local service providers and key stakeholders was elicited to augment this data with a comprehensive understanding of gaps in overdose education and naloxone distribution services. It was evident that existing programs were likely less successful in reaching those at high risk who use heroin by routes other than injection. The City of Chicago allocated funding and created a grant mechanism for a pilot program to support community health educators in those areas with critical gaps.
The Chicago Recovery Alliance (CRA), a comprehensive harm reduction program, won the grant through competitive bid. The successful pilot ran from March until December 2018 and focused on reaching individuals in prioritized community areas who were not already engaged in existing overdose education and naloxone distribution services. The program framework centered on building community capacity by hiring individuals with lived experience from the priority areas and training them as community health educators. During the program, the community health educators reached 3,445 individuals who did not have previous access to overdose education and distributed 8,727 naloxone kits through traditional street outreach.
This session is accredited for the following accreditation types: CME, CNE, CPE, APA, AAFP, AAHCPAD*, NAADAC*, ASWB*
*State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit.