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Benefits and barriers associated with take-home-naloxone in the view of Italian service providers

Sara Rolando (Eclectica, Institute for Research and Training, Torino, Italy)
Franca Beccaria (Eclectica, Institute for Research and Training, Torino, Italy)
Susanna Ronconi (Forum Droghe, Rome, Italy)

Drugs and Alcohol Today

ISSN: 1745-9265

Article publication date: 7 October 2021

Issue publication date: 1 July 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

Spanning almost 30 years, Italy’s experience with take-home-naloxone (THN) provides an interesting case study on the international scene because of its specific history, regulation and trends in overdose (OD) rates. Accordingly, this study aims to contribute to the evidence base for THN and its delivery in a different setting.

Design/methodology/approach

The study focuses on service providers’ perceptions of the benefits, risks and barriers associated with THN provision. Data was collected using a mixed-methods approach as follows: an online structured questionnaire (no. of respondents = 63) and two focus groups (no. of total participants = 18).

Findings

Findings show that service providers believe the benefits of THN far outweigh the risks and accrue to services, as well as users. The study also suggests that the barriers in Italy are mostly ideological and political, and illustrates how resistance to administering THN can re-emerge when ODs are no longer a social emergency. Furthermore, the study found that health and social workers have different attitudes which are also reflected at the level of public and private services, thereby shaping slightly different models of THN supply.

Originality/value

The study suggests that barriers associated to THN are more ideological and political rather than concrete, which explains why, even where it seems long established, can easily re-emerge once ODs are no longer a social emergency.

Keywords

Citation

Rolando, S., Beccaria, F. and Ronconi, S. (2022), "Benefits and barriers associated with take-home-naloxone in the view of Italian service providers", Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1108/DAT-12-2020-0077

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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