Naloxone survival kit administration: Risks and Benefits
Practice Problem: Opioid overdose cases have seen a substantial increase in the Central Kentucky area. Since 2007, annual occurrences of fatal overdose in Lexington have increased from one to an average of twenty-two (Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, 2017). Kentucky State Police report that seizures of illegal narcotic medications have increased in the Lexington and Richmond areas from an average of four to five per month to almost daily in 2015; this statistic is confirmed by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, 2017. The numbers coincide with statewide trends of narcotic seizures and are being related to the increase in narcotic legislation and difficulty of obtaining prescription pain medication. Individuals using illegal narcotic medications range in age; from 20 to 60 years old. Regardless of age, all heroin users are at high risk of overdose due to staggered use, concurrent administration of addictive agents such as alcohol and suboxone, and height and weight variances that affect metabolism. (Honeycutt, 2015)
Approach: The project will be conducted in the community setting of Central Kentucky, to include the Richmond and Lexington metropolitan areas. Education aimed at the public, as well as emergency response professionals, will be essential in optimizing utilization of local resources and reversal kits while impacting public opinion. The reality is that every community is affected by addiction. Heroin has become a middle class drug that has daily addiction maintenance costs of approximately $150.00. The incidence that drove the selection of this topic was caring for seven overdose victims in the emergency room of KentuckyOne Health in Lexington. Brought in by a “friend,” these patients spoke no English and were found to have taken Heroin procured from the same dealer; later found to be laced with methamphedamine, creating a street drug called “blue ice.” During the course of one week, five overdose deaths occurred in a similar manner.