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Health AnalyticsPublicationsSubstance Abuse

The Feasibility of Pharmacy-Based Naloxone Distribution Interventions: A Qualitative Study With Injection Drug Users and Pharmacy Staff in Rhode Island

Authors: Zaller, N.; Yokell, M. A.; Green, T. C.

Substance Use & Misuse, Volume 48, 2013 – Issue 8

This study analyzed qualitative data from a Rapid Policy Assessment and Response project to assess the feasibility of a potential pharmacy-based naloxone intervention to reduce opioid overdose mortality among injection drug users (IDUs). We conducted in-depth, semistructured interviews with 21 IDUs and 21 pharmacy staff (pharmacists and technicians). Although most participants supported the idea of a pharmacy-based naloxone intervention, several barriers were identified, including misinformation about naloxone, interpersonal relationships between IDUs and pharmacy staff, and costs of such an intervention. Implications for future pharmacy-based overdose prevention interventions for IDUs, including pharmacy-based naloxone distribution, are considered. The study’s limitations are noted.