Principal Investigator: Lei Zhang, Ph.D.
This subcontract through the New Mexico Office of Substance Abuse Prevention evaluates the SAMHSA/CSAP grant to Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths (PDO). The purpose of this grant is to reduce the number of prescription drug/opioid overdose-related deaths and adverse events among individuals 18 years of age and older by training first responders and other key community sectors on the prevention of prescription drug/opioid overdose-related deaths and implementing secondary prevention strategies, including the purchase and distribution of naloxone to first responders.
New Mexico is working with three providers across the state to train and distribute Narcan to first responders in four counties with the highest populations and overdose death rates. PIRE is assessing the extent of training and distribution across these three providers and their sub-organizations to high risk individuals and first respondents and the extent to which training and distribution decreases overdose deaths and all overdoses.
As of April 2020, the project has trained over 5,000 people, including professional first responders, correction officers, community organizers and lay people; and has distributed over 12,000 Narcan kits. At the end of first quarter in 2020, 322 opioid overdose reversals were reported using the Narcan kits distributed by the project. As Project Director, Dr. Zhang works with local grantees, state prevention staff and contractors, and stakeholders to create data collection instruments and protocols, train personnel on the data collection methodology, insure data quality, clean and analyze data, report out on data, maintain data dashboards, and overall manage all aspects of the evaluation process.