Home > A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of take-home naloxone (THN) ownership and carriage.

Burton, Gillian and McAuley, Andrew and Schofield, Joe and Yeung, Alan and Matheson, Catriona and Parkes, Tessa (2021) A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of take-home naloxone (THN) ownership and carriage. International Journal of Drug Policy, 96, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103298.

External website: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0955...

Background: Drug-related deaths globally are increasing year on year, with the largest proportion of these being opioid-related. The opioid antagonist naloxone distributed for take-home use (‘Take-Home Naloxone (THN)’) has been championed as one method of tackling this public health crisis, however to be effective it must be available at an opioid overdose. Ownership and carriage are therefore fundamental to THN success. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of ownership and carriage of THN internationally among people who use drugs (PWUD).

Results: Systematic search yielded 6363 papers, with ten eligible papers identified. Eight articles were included in ownership prevalence and five articles included for carriage prevalence, with an overlap of three studies between both measures. Pooled prevalence indicated moderate ownership levels (57%, CI 47-67%) but lower carriage levels (20%, CI 12-31%). Analysis was complicated by the limited number of available studies and lack of standardised terminology and measurement.  

Conclusion: Understanding naloxone ownership and carriage globally is hampered by limited evidence and heterogeneity across studies. From the available data, prevalence of THN carriage overall appears low, despite moderate ownership. Given the variation across studies, future research should seek to utilise more standardised terminology and methods of measurement. Furthermore, services distributing THN must ensure the importance of regular carriage of naloxone is consistently emphasised.


Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Review, Article
Drug Type
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
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