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Larissa Doucette

Most teens and young adults who abuse prescription painkillers are rarely informed about overdose awareness, avoidance, and response strategies, even those with significant overdose experiences, according to a study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy. The results of the study, “High risk and little knowledge: Overdose experiences and knowledge among young adult nonmedical prescription opioid users,” also indicate that many abusers are not aware of overdose prevention programs available to them, including access to naloxone, the medication that can help to reverse an opioid overdose. Results of the study also indicate that prescription painkiller abusers often view themselves as distinct from heroin users, and were often outside the networks reached by traditional opioid safety/overdose prevention programs. The authors of the study conclude that such programs should develop new outreach strategies to better reach such individuals.