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Study Shows Promising Results To Prevent Opioid Deaths

A study on preventatives for opioid deaths has showed promising results in preventing overdoses in patients. The researchers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine  found that training people most likely to experience an opioid overdose and providing them with a drug, known as ‘naloxone’, reduces the effects of an overdose if administered quickly. If scaled up effectively, the treatment has the potential to significantly reduce the number of deaths.

The study, which began in 2016 and ended in 2020, concluded of a short training course on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose. The drug tested would be Naloxone. All participants were thoroughly trained in how to administer naloxone safely and how to correctly respond to an overdose. Each of the participants got a ‘take-home’ kit of naloxone.

Image: Explainer card of how Naloxone works when administered.

The results of the study were very encouraging. They found that around 90% of the 14,000 trainees had used the naloxone when they’d witnessed an overdose. Using this method all those who had overdosed consequently survived as a result of both the training and the naloxone.

This has given hope that many deaths in relation to overdoses can be prevented using this method. Currently more than 70% of drug related deaths are directly related to opioids, with more than 30% of those deaths due to overdose. However the researchers believe these numbers could fall drastically if these new measures were implemented.  

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