How Does the Take-home Naloxone Program Work in Practice?

The British Columbia take-home naloxone (BCTHN) program has been in operation since 2012 and has resulted in the successful reversal of over 581 opioid overdoses. A recent study published in the Harm Reduction Journal aims to explore BCTHN program participant perspectives about the program, barriers to participants contacting emergency services (calling “911”) during an overdose, and perspectives of law enforcement officials on naloxone administration by police officers. MTwo focus groups and four individual interviews were conducted with BCTHN program participants; interviews with two law enforcement officials were also conducted. Qualitative analysis of all transcripts was performed. Results showed that positive themes about the BCTHN program from participants included easy to understand training, correcting misperceptions in the community, and positive interactions with emergency services. Potential barriers to contacting emergency services during an overdose include concerns about being arrested for outstanding warrants or for other illegal activities (such as drug possession) and confiscation of kits. Law enforcement officials noted that warrants were complex situational issues, kits would normally not be confiscated, and admitted arrests for drug possession or other activities may not serve the public good in an overdose situation. Law enforcement officials were concerned about legal liability and jurisdictional/authorization issues if naloxone administration privileges were expanded to police. Program participants and law enforcement officials expressed differing perspectives about warrants, kit confiscation, and arrests. Facilitating communication between BCTHN program participants and other stakeholders may address some of the confusion and remove potential barriers to further improving program outcomes. Naloxone administration by law enforcement would require policies to address jurisdiction/authorization and liability issues.

For the abstract


Related Stories

  • September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day
  • The Murder of Alain de Moneys (Part Two of Two)
  • Can Gut-derived Cells Restore Brain Functioning?


The information provided on the is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Total votes: 3979