Friday, July 12, 2013

Naloxone laws to reduce overdose - update

Back by popular demand is the map of U.S. states with legislation improving lay naloxone access. This post was delayed by a very active legislative season which I think has slowed down for the moment. As usual, this may have errors so please comment and I'll correct. 

This time I've only included states on the map (in black) with existing legislation improving lay naloxone access (e.g. not Oklahoma and Ohio as those bills target first responder access to naloxone, and not pending legislation that improves access in states - like California - that already have it). There are now lay naloxone access laws in CA, CO, CT, IL, KY, MA, MD, NJ, NC, NM, NY, OR, RI, VA, VT, WA, and the District of Columbia.

Unsuccessful bills this season included Maine and West Virginia.

Here's a summary from the Network for Public Health Law of naloxone (and Good Samaritan) laws that is kept regularly updated.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

PubMed Update June 2013

13 new papers this month, from drug development to naloxone programming, epidemiology to practice management, toxicology to supply side drug control.

Li W, Gunja N.
Aust Fam Physician. 2013 Jul;42(7):481-5.
Comment: Unable to access.  Appears to be a general review of managing illicit drug toxicities.

Leece PN, Hopkins S, Marshall C, Orkin A, Gassanov MA, Shahin RM.
Can J Public Health. 2013 Apr 18;104(3):e200-4.
Comment: Unable to access. There have been several papers describing the initial experience of naloxone programs and this is a welcome addition to that literature.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013 Jul 5;62(26):537-42.
Comment: A review of drug overdose mortality data among women, demonstrating that women have been particularly affected by the recent epidemic.

Coffin PO, Sullivan SD.
J Med Econ. 2013 Jun 19. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: An adaptation of the model developed for the United States, taking into account structural differences, epidemiologic data, and costs in Russia. Because of limitations in emergency medical services in Russia, the high rate at which overdoses are witnessed, and the very low costs of naloxone, this intervention is likely to be even more cost-effective in Russia than it appears to be in the United States.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

New site is chockablock with overdose prevention resources

Interested in learning more about opioid overdose and how to build prevention projects? The recently launched site is worth a look. Made live during the International Harm Reduction Conference in June 2013, the site was developed by the Open Society Foundations in collaboration with Population Services International, Harm Reduction International, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network, the Scottish Drugs Forum, Harm Reduction Coalition, and the Asian Network of People Who Use Drugs. 

The site is currently available in English and Russian and includes background information on overdose by region, a number of useful case studies, and tons of freely downloadable program, training, and advocacy materials that should help anyone starting a project. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

New Film: "Reach for Me: Fighting to End America's Drug Overdose Epidemic"

I posted on OPA recently with a preview cut, and I'm very happy to say that we've now launched the final version of our film Reach for Me: Fighting to End America's Drug Overdose Epidemic and our accompanying website. The film  looks at how naloxone pricing, production shortages, and the lack of government support are affecting overdose prevention efforts around the United States. 

We interviewed 30 people, including a number of regular OPA contributors, representing California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Louisiana, Michican, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Wisconsin and more. In addition to the full length (but still just 15 min!) film, we're posting everyone's complete interviews, as well as, soon, a 3 minute version.  

The goal is to use the film as a platform for education and advocacy in order to push for universal access to opioid overdose prevention education and take-home naloxone for those who need it. To that end, over coming weeks on the website we'll be rolling out more advocacy tools and a petition aimed at U.S. federal funding. 

The film was produced by Sawbuck Productions, a Chicago-based nonprofit documentary film company that works on issues related to harm reduction, and which is headed up by Greg Scott & Erin Scott. Eliza Wheeler of HRC and the DOPE Project also contributed magnificently, and Nigel Brunsdon of the UK-based Injecting Advice and HIT did the website. The Open Society Foundations generously contributed to production and distribution costs.  

Help us spread the word further by liking our Facebook page ( and following us on Twitter (@reach4us). We especially want to build awareness outside the harm reduction community.  

For those of you in the U.S., if you'd like a copy on DVD, please follow this link. We'd also be happy to arrange local screenings and discussion -- please be in touch through the contact link on the site if you'd like to do so.