Pharmacy-dispensed naloxone programs are increasingly used as a harm reduction measure for preventing opioid overdose-related death across North America. In June 2016, the Ontario provincial government introduced the Ontario Naloxone Program for Pharmacies (ONPP), authorizing community pharmacists to provide naloxone kits to all Ontario residents free of charge.
People who use opioids have been historically marginalized and stigmatized in healthcare contexts. Therefore, the act of requesting a naloxone kit in the physical space of the pharmacy could reproduce similar experiences and harm, which may deter this population from accessing naloxone from pharmacies. While many studies have quantified the impact of increased access to naloxone, this qualitative study aims to understand the perceptions of, and experiences with, pharmacy dispensed naloxone programs among people who take opioids.
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