Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=952469
 
 

Footnotes (7)



 


 



Physicians' Knowledge of and Willingness to Prescribe Naloxone to Reverse Accidental Opiate Overdose: Challenges and Opportunities


Leo Beletsky


Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Robin Ruthazer


Tufts New England Medical Center (NEMC)

Grace Macalino


Tufts New England Medical Centre (NEMC)

Josiah D. Rich


Brown University - School of Medicine

Litjen Tan


American Medical Association

Scott Burris


Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law


Journal of Urban Health, Vol. 84, No. 1, pp. 126-137, 2006

Abstract:     
Naloxone, the standard treatment for heroin overdose, is a safe and effective prescription drug commonly administered by emergency room physicians or first responders acting under standing orders of physicians. High rates of overdose deaths and widely accepted evidence that witnesses of heroin overdose are often unwilling or unable to call 9-1-1 has led to interventions in several US cities and abroad in which drug users are instructed in overdose rescue techniques and provided a "take-home" dose of naloxone. Under current FDA regulations, such interventions require physician involvement. As part of a larger study to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of doctors towards providing drug treatment and harm reduction services to injection drug users (IDUs), we investigated physician knowledge and willingness to prescribe naloxone. Less than one in four of the respondents in our sample reported having heard of naloxone prescription as an intervention to prevent opiate overdose, and the majority reported that they would never consider prescribing the agent and explaining its application to a patient. Factors predicting a favorable attitude towards prescribing naloxone included fewer negative perceptions of IDUs, assigning less importance to peer and community pressure not to treat IDUs, and increased confidence in ability to provide meaningful treatment to IDUs. Our data suggest that steps to promote naloxone distribution programs should include physician education about evidence-based harm minimization schemes, broader support for such initiatives by professional organizations, and policy reform to alleviate medicolegal concerns associated with naloxone prescription. Food and Drug Administration re-classification of naloxone for over-the-counter sales and promotion of nasal-delivery mechanism for this agent should be urgently explored.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: Heroin, Injection drug use, Overdose, Prevention, Naloxone, Physician Behavior, Physician Education, Evidence-Based Practice

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: December 22, 2006 ; Last revised: March 12, 2012

Suggested Citation

Beletsky, Leo and Ruthazer, Robin and Macalino, Grace and Rich, Josiah D. and Tan, Litjen and Burris, Scott, Physicians' Knowledge of and Willingness to Prescribe Naloxone to Reverse Accidental Opiate Overdose: Challenges and Opportunities. Journal of Urban Health, Vol. 84, No. 1, pp. 126-137, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=952469

Contact Information

Leo Beletsky (Contact Author)
Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Bouvé College of Health Sciences ( email )
400 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-373-5540 (Phone)
Robin Ruthazer
Tufts New England Medical Center (NEMC) ( email )
750 Washington Street #63
Boston, MA 02111
United States
Grace Macalino
Tufts New England Medical Centre (NEMC) ( email )
750 Washington Street #63
Boston, MA 02111
Josiah D. Rich
Brown University - School of Medicine ( email )
Box G-MH
Providence, RI 02912
United States
Litjen Tan
American Medical Association ( email )
515 North State St.
Chicago, IL 60610
United States
Scott C. Burris
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )
1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-6576 (Phone)
215-204-1185 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.temple.edu/lawschool/phrhcs/index.html
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,050
Downloads: 70
Download Rank: 189,060
Footnotes:  7

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.312 seconds