Opioid Misuse and Overdose Risk Patterns among Recent Veterans

Principal Investigator: Alexander S. Bennett

This study promises to greatly inform efforts to identify effective programs for preventing opioid misuse and opioid-related overdose among veterans. Identification of the salient contexts for risky opioid use and an understanding of how even routine, adherent pain management behaviors can evolve into risky ones will provide the means to more creative and time-sensitive interventions to prevent or mitigate risky behaviors before they lead to negative health consequences including overdose and even untimely death. Similarly, understanding how veterans themselves conceptualize risk, and draw on social and institutional supports, will allow for greater refinement in future efforts to educate veterans and assist them in establishing meaningful institutional affiliations and social relationships that may serve as protective factors against opioid-related health risks.

For more information: Abstract

Supplement Study: New standing orders in the state of New York related to the distribution of the life-saving opioid antagonist, naloxone (Narcan™) have created an opportunity for the parent grant’s managerial staff to distribute the drug directly to veterans who are at high risk of opioid-related overdose. This supplementary research project (R01DA036754-01S1) will achieve the following aims: 1) Train opioid-using veterans in the administration of naloxone to reverse an opioid-related overdose and assess their retention of knowledge provided in an educational video. 2) Assess the uses of and experiences of having naloxone kits among recently returned veterans over a period of one year. 3) Evaluate the potential for personal possession of naloxone to impact overdose risk behaviors.

Supplement Study #2: This study (3R01DA036754-03S1) will conduct a stakeholder analysis of impacts of naloxone training and provision across various institutional settings and treatment/service modalities. The ongoing study in which this supplement will be situated is currently distributing naloxone to at-risk veterans under the auspices of the Opioid Overdose Prevention Program (OOPP) registered by the NY State Department of Health) at NDRI. This supplement aims to expand scientific understanding of naloxone’s impact by: 1) developing preliminary survey instruments for assessing naloxone-related attitudes, and perceived impacts on participants’ ongoing management of opioid use; 2) conducting a stakeholder analysis of opioid users, treatment providers, first-responders and overdose survivors; and 3) collecting follow-up data over a 12-month period from recent overdose survivors whose overdoses were reversed with naloxone.

  • About NDRI
          Since 1967, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI), a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, has conducted substance use and other bio-behavioral research nationwide and throughout the world.

          Drawing on the expertise of our interdisciplinary professional staff and our partners such as medical centers, treatment and prevention programs, universities, CBOs, industry and government NDRI has advanced public health across diverse populations including high-risk and underserved persons, uniformed services, youth and veterans.

          In addition to its focus on addiction, NDRI, organized under specialized institutes, has generated scientific discoveries associated with infectious diseases (particularly HIV and Hepatitis C), overdose, chronic pain, prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer, tobacco control and criminal justice.


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