Findings and lessons learnt from implementing Australia's first health service based take-home naloxone program

Karen J. Chronister, Nicholas Lintzeris, Anthony Jackson, Mihaela Ivan, Paul Dietze, Simon Lenton, John Kearley, Ingrid van Beek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction and Aims: Opioid overdose prevention programs providing take-home naloxone have been expanding internationally. This paper summarises findings and lessons learnt from the Overdose Prevention and Emergency Naloxone Project which is the first take-home naloxone program in Australia implemented in a health care setting. Methods: The Project intervention provided education and take-home naloxone to opioid-using clients at Kirketon Road Centre and The Langton Centre in Sydney. The evaluation study examined uptake and acceptability of the intervention; participants' knowledge and attitudes regarding overdose and participants' experience in opioid overdose situations six months after the intervention. Participants completed baseline, post-training and follow-up questionnaires regarding overdose prevention and management which were analysed using repeated measures analysis of variance. Results: Eighty-three people participated in the intervention, with 35 (42%) completing follow-up interviews—51% reporting using naloxone with 30 overdoses successfully reversed. There were significant improvements in knowledge and attitudes immediately following training with much retained at follow-up, particularly regarding feeling informed enough (97%) and confident to inject naloxone (100%). Discussion: Take-home naloxone programs can be successfully implemented in Australian health settings. Barriers to uptake, such as lengthy processes and misperceptions around interest in overdose prevention, should be addressed in future program implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-471
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • injecting drug use
  • opioid overdose prevention
  • opioids
  • take-home naloxone

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