Home > Experience of drug overdose at an urban addiction clinic in Ireland.

Barry, T and Crowley, D and Benton, A and Barron, E and O'Reilly, F (2017) Experience of drug overdose at an urban addiction clinic in Ireland. Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems, 19, (4),

External website: http://www.heroinaddictionrelatedclinicalproblems....

Background: Drug overdose is a significant health problem that carries with it potentially fatal consequences. Overdose prevention and management strategies should be a key concern for settings that provide services to drug users and in particular to opioid injectors. The service user perspective is an important consideration in overdose prevention and management.

Aim: To examine the experience of drug overdose among service users at a single addiction clinic, and thus inform future overdose prevention and management strategies.

Methods: An anonymous census of all service users at a single urban addiction clinic was conducted in order to establish the experience of personal or witnessed drug overdose within the preceding year. Following this census, questionnaire-based interviews were conducted to examine the service user experience of drug overdose in greater detail.

Results: A census response rate of 96% (216) was achieved. Eighteen service users participated in a follow up questionnaire-based interview. Almost one-third of service users (31%) had either witnessed or personally experienced an overdose in the previous year. A quarter of the population (25%) had witnessed but not experienced an overdose. Service users who were interviewed, were willing to intervene in overdose situations but many were unaware of the opiate antidote naloxone.

Conclusions: A significant proportion of service users at this single clinic had recent experience of drug overdose. Overdose prevention and management strategies are relevant to this population. Training and equipping addiction clinic service users for overdose management may save additional live

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco), Opioid
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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