The feasibility of pharmacy-based naloxone distribution interventions: a qualitative study with injection drug users and pharmacy staff in Rhode Island

Subst Use Misuse. 2013 Jun;48(8):590-9. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2013.793355. Epub 2013 Jun 10.


This study analyzed qualitative data from a Rapid Policy Assessment and Response project to assess the feasibility of a potential pharmacy-based naloxone intervention to reduce opioid overdose mortality among injection drug users (IDUs). We conducted in-depth, semistructured interviews with 21 IDUs and 21 pharmacy staff (pharmacists and technicians). Although most participants supported the idea of a pharmacy-based naloxone intervention, several barriers were identified, including misinformation about naloxone, interpersonal relationships between IDUs and pharmacy staff, and costs of such an intervention. Implications for future pharmacy-based overdose prevention interventions for IDUs, including pharmacy-based naloxone distribution, are considered. The study's limitations are noted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Drug Overdose / prevention & control
  • Drug Users / psychology*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Naloxone / therapeutic use*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Pharmacies*
  • Pharmacists* / psychology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Rhode Island
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / drug therapy*


  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Naloxone