Narcan and Narcan't: Implementation factors influencing police officer use of Narcan Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • First responders-including police officers-play a prominent role in managing the risk of fentanyl overdoses. In many jurisdictions, they have Naloxone (also commercially available as Narcan) at their disposal to counter the effects of an opioid overdose. Little empirical research exists on how effectively police are incorporating this emergency rescue medication into routine practice. Between 2018 and 2019, we conducted semi-structured interviews with police officers from two Western Canadian police organizations. We also administered organization-wide web surveys to determine what factors facilitate or inhibit the incorporation of Narcan into police practice by looking at two domains: 1) the inner setting of the police organization and 2) personal knowledge of, and attitudes toward, an intervention. Whether officers administered Narcan depended on several personal and organizational factors, including: 1) having sufficient knowledge and concern about the fentanyl situation, 2) being knowledgeable about Narcan and trained in its use, 3) the medication being readily available to officers, and 4) being willing to administer it to citizens.

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publication date

  • February 2021