Overdose Education and Naloxone Rescue Kits for Family Members of Individuals Who Use Opioids: Characteristics, Motivations, and Naloxone Use.Subst Abus. 2015; 36(2):149-54.SA
In response to the overdose epidemic, a network of support groups for family members in Massachusetts has been providing overdose education and naloxone rescue kits (OEN). The aims of this study were to describe the characteristics, motivations, and benefits of family members who receive OEN and to describe the frequency of naloxone used during an overdose rescue.
This cross-sectional, multisite study surveyed attendees of community support groups for family members of opioid users where OEN training was offered using a 42-item self-administered survey that included demographics, relationship to the individual using opioids, experience with overdose, motivations to receive OEN, and naloxone rescue kit use.
Of 126 attendees who completed surveys at 8 sites, most attendees were white (95%), female (78%), married or partnered (74%), parents of an individual using opioids (85%), and providing financial support for the individual using opioids (52%). The OEN trainees (79%) were more likely than attendees not trained (21%) to be parents of an individual using opioids (91% vs. 65%, P < .05), to provide financial support to an individual using opioids (58% vs. 30%, P < .05), and to have witnessed an overdose (35% vs. 12%, P = .07). The major motivations to receive training were wanting a kit in their home (72%), education provided at the meeting (60%), and hearing about benefits from others (57%). Sixteen parents reported witnessing their child overdose, and 5 attendees had used naloxone successfully during an overdose rescue.
Support groups for families of people who use opioids are promising venues to conduct overdose prevention trainings because attendees are motivated to receive training and will use naloxone to rescue people when witnessing an overdose. Further study is warranted to understand how to optimize this approach to overdose prevention in the community setting.