This study looks into the effects when Naloxone is introduced into efforts to combat opioid overdose. While Naloxone is a life-saving drug when an individual overdoses and the authors do not recommend suspending its use, they do find that: “broadening Naloxone access led to more opioid-related emergency room visits and more opioid-related theft, with no reduction in opioid-related mortality. ”
The authors suggest that because of this, the public health community needs to understand and properly prepare when instituting Naloxone use:
“…our results suggest that Naloxone’s effects may depend on the availability of local drug treatment: when treatment is available to people who need help overcoming their addiction, broad Naloxone access results in more beneficial effects. Increasing access to drug treatment, then, might be a necessary complement to Naloxone access in curbing the opioid overdose epidemic.”
Note that the full paper is available from the link below.