Three notable papers this week
Comment: Another analysis from a non-fatal overdose survey in Harlem and the South Bronx (originally designed by me). There have been some concerning results in terms of witness management of overdose from this study. We know that those who have overdosed are at higher risk of overdose and from a 2005 analysis also know that they are less likely to contact emergency medical services when they witness an overdose. Now we know that these findings apply to those who witness multiple overdoses as well (they appear to be almost the same population). Authors propose that prior negative experiences with medical service might dissuade contact at future overdoses, although perhaps successful prior lay resuscitation efforts also discourage calling for help.
Drug-Related Death Following Release from Prison: A Brief Review of the Literature with Recommendations for Practice.
Leach D, Oliver P. Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2011 Aug 12. [Epub ahead of print]
Comment: I don’t have access to the full article and hope that naloxone distribution is discussed as one of the options.
Hser Y, Kagihara J, Huang D, Evans E, Messina N. Addiction. 2011 Aug 10
Comment: Mortality among pregnant or parenting women seeking substance abuse treatment (including heroin, cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, and methamphetamine) over ten years was 8.4x higher than the general population, the largest portion of which was from overdose (29%). The authors do not breakdown overdose by primary drug problem (i.e. can’t tell if most of the overdoses were among heroin users or if they were more evenly distributed).