Disparities in opioid overdose survival and naloxone administration in Pennsylvania

Louisa M. Holmes, Andrea Rishworth, Brian H. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Pennsylvania has one of the highest opioid overdose rates in the US; however, since 2018 approximately 80% of people who experienced an opioid overdose in the state survived. More attention has been paid to opioid overdose mortality despite notable individual and geographic differences in overdose survival. Naloxone is an essential tool in increasing chances of survival after opioid overdose, but its availability and the rate at which it is administered differs by county in Pennsylvania and nationally. Methods: We use 2018–2020 Pennsylvania Overdose Information Network data on opioid incidents and where they occurred, combined with 2015–2019 American Community Survey data, to evaluate opioid overdose survival and naloxone administration by county over a three-year period. Results: Individuals who received at least one dose of naloxone following overdose had 11 times greater odds of survival. White, middle-aged men were least likely to survive opioid overdose. Both survival and naloxone administration rates differed by county with lower rates in less populated counties. Conclusion: Expanding naloxone distribution and administration and ensuring proper education about standing orders for naloxone administration are important tools for addressing opioid overdose mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109555
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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