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“It can save your life, that’s all I know,” barriers and facilitators for engagement in take-home naloxone for people receiving opioid substitution treatment in regional Australia: An explorative study

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-08-02, 01:32 authored by Isabella Natale, Craig Harvey, Penelope WoodPenelope Wood, Karen AndersonKaren Anderson
Engagement in take-home naloxone (THN) programs by people receiving opioid substitution treatment (OST) in Australia is low despite methadone being a significant contributor to opioid overdose deaths. Our aim was to explore barriers and facilitators for OST patients to engage in THN. We used a descriptive qualitative design with thematic analysis to gain insight into naloxone uptake by people engaged in an OST program in regional Australia. Eleven participants were interviewed; eight had previously engaged with THN. Barriers to THN included limited knowledge and understanding, lack of information, and not personally experiencing an overdose. Facilitators included having a traumatic experience of overdose, knowledge and understanding of THN and overdose, empowerment in carrying naloxone, and expanding THN programs. Support for the expansion of THN programs is desired among participants, and widespread peer distribution is understood to be the key to success. This study found that prior traumatic experience of overdose facilitates acceptance of THN, and being offered THN was the most important factor in engagement. Less clear is how to engage people who lack a traumatic overdose experience.


Barwon Health Drugs and Alcohol Service provided financial support to conduct this research.


Publication Date



Qualitative Research in Medicine and Healthcare





Article Number



7 p.


PAGEPress Publications



Rights Statement

© Copyright: the Author(s), 2023. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial International License (CC BY-NC 4.0) which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.