Date of Award

Spring 5-25-2024

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Katherine Lais, DNP, PMHNP-BC


Introduction: Amidst the escalating opioid overdose crisis in the United States, it is imperative to deploy effective harm-reduction strategies. This Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project involved the development, implementation, and evaluation of a Naloxone Training and Opioid Overdose Prevention Program delivered to clients at a residential addiction treatment center. The primary objective of this project was to determine if the educational intervention led to an improvement in participants' knowledge and attitudes about opioid overdose and naloxone use.

Background: Overdose fatalities are a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. The majority of fatal overdoses involve opioids. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the rate of overdose fatalities. In the past two years, preventable drug overdose fatalities increased by 58%. Research suggests that implementing Naloxone Training and Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs within high-risk populations is an effective, low-risk, harm-reduction strategy.

Methods: The National Harm Reduction Coalition’s Guide to Developing and Managing Overdose Prevention and Take-Home Naloxone Programs, along with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit, were used to design a 45-minute nurse-led Naloxone Training and Opioid Overdose Prevention group for patients at a residential addiction treatment center. The interactive educational intervention encompassed a comprehensive discussion of overdose response and prevention, including the examination of overdose risk factors, recognition of overdose symptoms, steps to take when responding to an overdose, and guidance on the proper administration of naloxone.

Results: The project's findings demonstrate significant improvements in knowledge and attitudes about opioid overdose management. Total scores on both the OOAS and OOKS improved with statistical significance (p < 0.05). All seven subdomains measured by the OOAS and OOKS showed directional improvement, with four reaching statistical significance (p < 0.05). Participants' attitudes toward competence and concerns about opioid overdose management improved significantly before and after the intervention (p < 0.05). Additionally, participants' knowledge of naloxone use and recognition of overdose signs significantly improved (p < 0.05).

Evaluation: The findings of this project highlight the effectiveness of Naloxone training and opioid overdose prevention interventions in enhancing preparedness to address opioid overdoses within high-risk populations. The success of this program suggests implications for practice, emphasizing the importance of incorporating comprehensive opioid overdose harm reduction strategies into addiction treatment settings. Future projects should aim to explore the long-term effectiveness of the program by assessing sustained changes in knowledge and attitudes over time.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 06, 2025

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