This study evaluates a cutting edge and innovative preventive intervention intended to meet survivors of opioid overdoses attended by EMS, where they are by providing an initial dose of buprenorphine for withdrawal relief and ongoing support for medication assisted treatment (MAT) initiation. We examine the extent to which opioid overdose survivors (OOS) consent to accept paramedic-prescribed buprenorphine administered immediately following reversal. We also examine whether the presence of a community-based peer navigator at the scene of an overdose reversal, in addition to a paramedic, increases the survivor’s acceptance of buprenorphine.
The peer navigator’s role will be to provide support, encouragement, and education concerning the benefits of buprenorphine as a bridge to MAT. Our study will clarify whether a buprenorphine regimen as a bridge to MAT can successfully be introduced immediately following a reversal, or whether the invitation should be delayed, as some believe, until a later time. We will also investigate the added value of peer navigators as a means to encourage OOS to begin buprenorphine. We will analyze community paramedic data collected at the time of reversal to calculate the proportion of persons who accept buprenorphine and whether acceptance rates vary by the presence of a peer navigator.