Opioid overdoses in supportive housing facilities: how to keep people safe

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Supportive housing facilities are a high-risk environment for opioid overdose fatalities and have been identified as an area where overdose prevention and response efforts are crucial. To help understand the context and dynamics of opioid overdoses in supportive housing, and identify and evaluate potential policies, qualitative interviews and focus groups were conducted. Research participants included frontline supportive housing staff and managers, health professionals, a coroner, and several clients from one supportive housing agency in Vancouver. A range of policies aimed at reducing the risk of fatal opioid overdoses in supportive housing facilities were identified and evaluated using a multiple-criteria analysis. The evaluation criterion included: effectiveness, stakeholder involvement, budget, and implementation time. Based on this analysis, it is recommended that all frontline supportive housing staff receive annual opioid overdose prevention and response training, and that supportive housing agencies develop and implement opioid overdose intervention protocols for their unique settings.
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