Knowledge, attitudes, feasibility and acceptability of take-home naloxone for people released from prison

October 2015

NDARC: Dr Sarah Larney, Prof Louisa Degenhardt, Prof Michael Farrell & Dr Suzanne Nielsen

Other Collaborators: 

Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network Drug and Alcohol Service

Project description: 

Overdose is a common event in the lives of opioid users, and is the leading cause of death in this population. Naloxone is a short-acting opioid antagonist that reverses respiratory depression in opioid overdose. Providing naloxone to opioid users, to be administered in the event of an overdose, may prevent overdose deaths, and evidence suggests that the families and friends of opioid users can and do administer naloxone in emergency overdose situations.2 Programs to distribute take-home supplies of naloxone to opioid users and their close contacts are increasingly common as an overdose prevention intervention.

People released from prison are at particularly elevated risk of fatal overdose. At present, people released from prison in New South Wales do not have ready access to take-home supplies of naloxone.


This project will examine knowledge of and attitudes towards naloxone, and feasibility and acceptability of take-home naloxone kits for people released from prison, from the perspectives of consumers, clinicians and corrective services personnel. 


Interviews will be conducted with opioid dependent people recently released from prison (identified via the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network’s Connections Program); drug and alcohol service providers in NSW prisons; key personnel from Corrective Services NSW; and key informants (service providers and corrective services personnel) from correctional jurisdictions already offering take-home naloxone on release. Interviews will include an assessment of knowledge and attitudes around opioid overdose and naloxone use, and discussion of potential issues in the introduction of take-home naloxone for people leaving prisons. 

This project is funded by an untied educational grant from Indivior.