The Emergency Department as an Opportunity for Naloxone Distribution

A Systematic Review

Alexander H. Gunn, MBS, EMT-B; Zachary P.W. Smothers, MBS, EMT-B; Nicole Schramm-Sapyta, PhD; Caroline E. Freiermuth, MD; Mark MacEachern, MLIS; Andrew J. Muzyk, PharmD, MHPE


Western J Emerg Med. 2018;19(6):1036-1042. 

In This Article


Only five articles met the inclusion criteria. This small sample size highlights the need for future research but also provides little evidence to support claims. The inclusion criteria only allowed for peer-reviewed, published literature to be reviewed. The authors recognize that ED-based, take-home naloxone programs may exist around the country but have not been reported on. Further, literature that described naloxone distribution from settings other than the ED was excluded, which limited the possibility of expanding findings to outside the ED. Finally, we could not conduct a meta-analysis due to the low number of included studies and heterogeneity of outcomes, which limits the conclusions that can be drawn from this review.