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September 04, 2019 (Cleveland)

Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium Launches Online Naloxone Toolkit

Online-Naloxone-ToolkitSeeking to increase access to the life-saving intervention naloxone, this week the Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium is launching its online Naloxone Toolkit. A collection of resources freely available to readers, the Toolkit is designed to provide useful information to patients and healthcare professionals to help ensure naloxone gets into the hands of those who may need it.

The Toolkit is organized by reader type – patients and families, providers, pharmacists, and social workers – and is unique in being a single source that covers this spectrum of target audiences. Comprising material from reputable sources like national and local public health agencies, accrediting bodies and professional associations, the Toolkit includes:

  • Talking points for providers, pharmacists and social workers who may be looking for assistance in discussing naloxone with patients.
  • Guidelines on prescribing and dispensing naloxone.
  • Informational resources for patients and family members intended to answer their questions about naloxone.

Prior to launch, the Toolkit was reviewed and tested by an expert group of nurses, pharmacists and others to ensure the quality and usability of the information.

“The most important thing we can do as a collaborative is to find ways to save lives, and we know that naloxone is a critical tool for preventing deaths from opioid overdose,” said Randy Jernejcic, MD, chair of the Opioid Consortium and vice president of clinical integration at University Hospitals. “The development of this Toolkit is one step that we can take to support providers and patients in getting more naloxone out there in the community where it can reverse overdose.”

The online Naloxone Toolkit is an outcome of the Opioid Consortium’s strategic plan, which includes an objective related to expanding the use of and access to naloxone, a drug that can temporarily stop many of the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose. The launch of the Toolkit closely follows International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event observed on Aug. 31 to raise awareness that death from drug overdose is preventable.

According to the most recent data available to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than two-thirds of the drug overdose deaths that occurred in 2017 involved opioids. The CDC recommends that naloxone be prescribed to patients who are also being prescribed high-dose opioids, which is considered to be 50 or more morphine milligram equivalents per day. A recent CDC study found that the number of naloxone prescriptions doubled from 2017 to 2018. Yet despite this increase, the CDC also found that in 2018, while there was geographic variation, nationwide only one naloxone prescription was dispensed for every 69 high-dose opioid prescriptions.

MORE: For more on the Opioid Consortium and the new online Naloxone Toolkit, contact us.

TWEETABLE: Northeast Ohio Hospital #OpioidConsortium launches new online #Naloxone Toolkit to put important resources into the hands of patients, providers and others.