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March 6, 2013

Opioid Overdose Fatality Prevention—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Jody W. Zylke, MD, Senior Editor.

Author Affiliations: Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts (Mr Beletsky; l.beletsky@neu.edu); Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Walley); and Brown Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island (Dr Rich).

JAMA. 2013;309(9):873-874. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.381

In Reply: The call by Drs Leece and Orkin for more robust research on community-based naloxone access bolsters our appeal for urgent scale-up in resources to support the study of overdose fatality prevention. A long-standing problem among nonmedical drug users, opioid overdose began reaching epidemic proportions in the United States by 2004. Yet it took until 2009 for the US government to issue its first research grants to evaluate overdose fatality prevention interventions. This funding is just starting to bear fruit: an epidemiological study recently concluded that locales that implemented community-based overdose prevention with naloxone rescue kits experienced reduced opioid overdose mortality compared with those that did not.1