"Feeling confident and equipped": Evaluating the acceptability and efficacy of an overdose response and naloxone administration intervention to service industry employees in New York City

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 Nov 1:192:362-370. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.08.001. Epub 2018 Sep 21.


Background: The problem of injection drug use in public bathrooms has been documented from the perspectives of people who inject drugs and service industry employees (SIEs). Previous studies suggest that SIEs are unaware of how to respond to opioid overdoses, yet there are no behavioral interventions designed for SIEs to address their specific needs. In response to this gap in the field, we constructed, implemented, and evaluated a three-module behavioral intervention for SIEs grounded in the Information-Motivation-Behavioral skills model. This paper focuses on the evaluation of one module, namely, the intervention component addressing overdose response and naloxone administration (ORNA).

Methods: Participants were SIEs (N = 18 from two separate business establishments) recruited using convenience sampling. The study utilized a pre-/post-test concurrent nested mixed method design and collected quantitative and qualitative data including an evaluation of the intervention module. The primary outcomes were opioid overdose-related knowledge and attitudes. Acceptability was also assessed.

Results: SIEs demonstrated significant improvements (p < 0.01, Cohen's d = 1.45) in opioid overdose-related knowledge as well as more positive opioid overdose-related attitudes (p< 0.01, Cohen's d = 2.45) following the intervention. Participants also reported high levels of acceptability of the module and suggestions for improvement (i.e., more role-playing).

Conclusions: This study highlights the acceptability and evidence of efficacy of the ORNA module, as well as the utility of training SIEs in ORNA. The expansion of this training to other SIEs and public employees (librarians, etc.) who manage public bathrooms warrants further investigation.

Keywords: Bathrooms; Intervention; Naloxone; Overdose; Public injection; Service industry employees.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Commerce
  • Drug Overdose / drug therapy*
  • Drug Overdose / epidemiology
  • Drug Overdose / psychology
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Naloxone / therapeutic use*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Occupational Health Services / methods
  • Occupational Health Services / standards*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care* / psychology
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / drug therapy
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / epidemiology
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Naloxone