Factors Associated with Nonfatal Overdose During a Public Health Emergency

Date

2018

Authors

Wallace, Bruce
Kennedy, Mary Clare
Kerr, Thomas
Pauly, Bernie

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Substance Use & Misuse

Abstract

Background: In 2016, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, the Provincial Health Officer declared drug-related overdose deaths a public health emergency. Objectives: In this study, we examine factors associated with recent non-fatal overdose during a time of unprecedented rates of overdose and increasing involvement of fentanyl and fentanyl derivatives in overdose deaths. Methods: Between June and September 2016, a cross-sectional survey was conducted among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Bivariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to examine factors associated with recent non-fatal overdose. Results: A total of 187 PWID were included in the present study, of whom 56 (29.9%) reported having overdosed in the previous 6 months. In multivariable analyses, fentanyl injection (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 2.60; 95% confidence interval [CI]: (1.08 – 6.27) and public injection (AOR = 2.20; 95% CI: 1.09 – 4.43) were positively associated with recent non-fatal overdose. Conclusions: Fentanyl injection and public injection were associated with an increased likelihood of non-fatal overdose. These findings underscore the need for drug checking, safer sources of opioids and safer injecting interventions as part of overdose prevention strategies.

Description

Keywords

Fentanyl, illicit drugs, injection drug users, nonfatal overdose

Citation

Wallace, B., Kennedy M. C., Kerr, T., & Pauly, B. (2018). Factors Associated with Nonfatal Overdose During a Public Health Emergency. Substance Use & Misuse, 54(1), 39-45. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2018.1491051.