The Impact of Naloxone Access on Opioid Overdoes in Massachusetts: A Single Interrupted Time Series Design

April 2016

In 2006, Massachusetts implemented the Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) prevention program in order to reduce the fatality associated with opioid overdoses. As part of this program, individuals could receive kits containing naloxone contingent on completing training to administer the drug. This program evaluation uses multivariate regression analysis in order to determine whether or not OEND had an effect on the rate and number of overdoses in Massachusetts counties after implementation. The research design is characterized as an interrupted time series evaluation with comparison groups, using data on Massachusetts counties both before and after OEND was implemented. Multivariate regression indicates that OEND reduced both the rate and number of overdoses in counties once the program had been in place for at least one year. These results are significant at an alpha level of 0.10. According to this study, the rate of overdoses in Massachusetts counties was reduced by 1.12 individuals per 100,000 in the population. This reduction reflects the life-saving properties of naloxone, and its magnitude provides a compelling reason to enact this policy change, given the problem of rising opioid overdoses throughout the United States.