Exploring Effective Post-Opioid Overdose Reversal Responses for Law Enforcement and Other First Responders

Published: November, 2017

First responders across the country are carrying and administering naloxone to successfully reverse countless overdose deaths. However, experiencing a revival isn’t always a deterrent for those suffering with opioid use disorder, as many continue to use, experience repeated overdoses and repeatedly come into contact with local law enforcement. Some police officers are beginning to experience a frustration with the repeated calls for revival—as well as continued and frequent contacts and arrests—of the same individuals. Communities are learning overdose reversal is just the first step in opioid intervention. This article explores law enforcement overdose reversal and post-resuscitation and treatment responses in the newly emerging field of pre-arrest diversion. With opioid deaths on the rise and fentanyl deaths rapidly increasing, a crisis of this magnitude requires innovative responses at multiple intervention points, including post-overdose, as part of a comprehensive strategy to aid in the treatment of and recovery from opioid use disorders.