Intranasal Naloxone Administration by Police First Responders is Associated with Decreased Opioid Overdose Deaths

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This study sought to answer the question, “Can police officers administer intranasal naloxone to drug overdose victims to decrease the opioid overdose death rate?”


This prospective interventional study was conducted in Lorain County, OH, from January 2011 to October 2014. Starting October 2013, trained police officers administered naloxone to suspected opioid overdose victims through a police officer naloxone prescription program (NPP).

Those found by the county coroner to be positive for opioids at the time of death and those who received naloxone from police officers were included in this study. The rate of change in the total number of opioid-related deaths in Lorain County per quarter year, before and after initiation of the NPP, and the trend in the survival rate of overdose victims who were given naloxone were analyzed by linear regression. Significance was established a priori at P < .05.


Data from 247 individuals were eligible for study inclusion. Opioid overdose deaths increased significantly before initiation of the police officer NPP with average deaths per quarter of 5.5 for 2011, 15.3 for 2012, and 16.3 for the first 9 months of 2013. After initiation of the police officer NPP, the number of opioid overdose deaths decreased each quarter with an overall average of 13.4. Of the 67 participants who received naloxone by police officers, 52 (77.6%) survived, and 8 (11.9%) were lost to follow-up.


Intranasal naloxone administration by police first responders is associated with decreased deaths in opioid overdose victims.



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