Preliminary evaluation of project Wichita Overdose Recovery Kit Expedited Delivery (WORKED)
Vuong, Ngoc; Davis, Piper. 2023. Preliminary evaluation of project Wichita Overdose Recovery Kit Expedited Delivery (WORKED). -- In Proceedings: 19th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University
Substantial increases in opioid overdose deaths underlie the need for the implementation of harm reduction strategies. One such harm reduction strategy entails improved access to naloxone, a medication that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. However, naloxone remains largely inaccessible statewide and nationwide due to stigma and cost. In an effort to prevent opioid overdose deaths in Wichita and Sedgwick County, which has been disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic in Kansas, Safe Streets Wichita, a grassroots substance use prevention and harm reduction coalition, started a free volunteer-led intramuscular naloxone program. In January of 2023, the City of Wichita allocated funding toward Safe Streets Wichita to distribute 800 naloxone kits per month for five months, predominantly in overdose hotspots. The goals of this preliminary, mixed-methods process evaluation study were to determine whether Safe Streets Wichita met its program objectives, and more broadly, provide recommendations on how the free intramuscular naloxone program can improve. Using program data, outcomes to be measured are the number of kits distributed, whether they were distributed in overdose hotspots, and how many kits were reported to be used. Additionally, interviews will be conducted with program volunteers, partners, and naloxone kit recipients to solicit feedback on the free naloxone program. Early findings will be used to inform the fidelity, efficiency, accessibility, and sustainability of local naloxone access efforts in Wichita and Sedgwick County. A future evaluation study will determine the long-term impact of free intramuscular naloxone distribution on reducing opioid overdose deaths and building recovery capital in Wichita and Sedgwick County.
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Research completed in the Department of Psychology, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.