Introduction: Take Home Naloxone (THN) programs prevent death from opioid poisoning by training laypersons to recognize an overdose and administer naloxone. Dispensing THN through the emergency department (ED) is particularly critical because an ED visit for opioid poisoning strongly predicts future mortality. Many EDs have implemented THN programs, yet almost no literature examines the reach of such initiatives. To address this gap, we conducted a chart review of all patients presenting for opioid poisoning to an urban tertiary hospital, with a large ED-based THN program. This exploratory study hypothesized that more than 50% of ED patients presenting for opioid poisoning would be offered a THN kit. Methods: Data on demographics, clinical characteristics, and THN kit dispensing were extracted and analyzed from the charts of all ED patients presenting with a primary diagnosis of opioid poisoning between April 1 2016 and April 30 2017. Logistic regression analyzed predictors of being offered a THN kit. Results: A total of 347 ED visits for 301 unique patients occurred during the study period. The mean age ± SD of patients was 38 ± 14 years, and 69% were male. In 49% of ED visits, a THN kit was offered; 73% of these episodes had a THN kit dispensation. Patients who were male (AOR=1.94; 95% CI 1.11 - 3.40), and reported that their overdose was unintentional (AOR=2.95; 95% CI 1.04 8.35) and caused by illegal opioids (AOR=4.73; 95% CI 2.63 8.52) were significantly more likely to be offered a THN kit. Conclusion: ED-based THN programs have the potential to reach significant proportions of patients at high risk of mortality. However, these programs may have differential reach within the target population. Further research is needed to examine barriers and facilitators to offering all eligible ED patients a THN kit.
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