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How willing are community pharmacists to be trained about naloxone and opioid overdose prevention?

New Australian research published in Science Direct found there is significant interest in attending such training, especially online or via webinars.

The researchers, from several organisations including the University of Queensland’s School of Pharmacy and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW, examined community pharmacists’ education, experience and training preferences around the provision of naloxone, overdose, and substance use disorder.

They used online survey data from a national sample of Australian pharmacists about their educational preferences about naloxone and the prevention of overdose, as well as their previous training on substance use disorder.

The data, from 595 pharmacists, was then analysed.

The researchers found that 81% of pharmacists (n=479) were willing to be trained in opioid overdose prevention.

Greater willingness to attend such training was associated with younger pharmacists, female pharmacists, fewer years practising, and not having been to previous education on substance use disorder.

It was also associated with higher confidence in issues relating to substance use disorder.

The researchers then performed qualitative interviews which confirmed the community pharmacists’ willingness to be trained on the subject.

However the analysis of these also revealed low awareness, knowledge and confidence about naloxone and about preventing opioid overdose.

“Most community pharmacists in Australia are willing to attend training on providing naloxone and preventing opioid overdose,” the researchers concluded.

“There are opportunities to develop and expand the online presence of training, guidelines, and education materials to facilitate the expanded supply of OTC naloxone.”


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