Have You Ever Overdosed on Opioids?

Have You Ever Overdosed on Opioids?

The answer to that question may be more important than you think.

Researchers from the Opioid Response and Education program at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston have just completed a study on Naloxone use and overdose death rates.

They found that Naloxone reverses 93% of all overdoses.  What troubled them is the finding that a significant number of Naloxone recipients don't survive a year… and they want to know why.

It appears part of the reason is tied to a rise in the use of Fentanyl – a potent and injectable opioid.    An overdose of this drug and other new synthetic opioids can kill in minutes – leaving little time for a Naloxone intervention.  An overdose of heroin can often take up to 30 minutes before becoming fatal. 

Are there other factors leading to overdose deaths after a Naloxone intervention?

To the surprise of the researchers, it appears that most opioid users and many doctors don’t recognize an overdose when it happens – instead believing that only junkies that shoot up on heroin or take whole bottles of prescription drugs overdose. 

When asked – many patients describe their overdose experience as simply a bad reaction to the drug.

Could it be that teaching patients and physicians how to recognize an overdose might save lives?

Researchers in San Francisco have recently investigated that idea by enrolling Naloxone users in a program called REBOOT.   REBOOT stands for “repeated dose motivational interviewing intervention.”

During the test of REBOOT, drug counselors met with overdose survivors for 45 minutes, explaining how to recognize an overdose and respond to it as well as how to identify behaviors that might lead to another overdose.  They also asked whether these survivors might want to enroll in a substance abuse program.

All participants were opioid dependent, had previously overdosed and previously received Naloxone.  Most were homeless.

The researchers found that participation in the REBOOT program significantly reduced the occurrence of additional opioid overdoses and the number of overdoses overall compared to those receiving the usual care typically afforded these addicts.

Interestingly, Aware Recovery Care’s novel and highly effective treatment protocol employs a very intensive and interactive approach to treating those addicted to drugs and/or alcohol… making it clear that standard methods of care in addiction treatment may simply be inadequate.

If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Connecticut or New Hampshire, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help.  Our unique model of care is giving clients a 6X better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care.  To learn more or to talk to one of our Recovery Specialists, visit www.awarerecoverycare.com.

Photo credit kev-shine via Foter.com  CC BY.jpg