Attitudes Toward Naloxone Prescribing in Clinical Settings: A Qualitative Study of Patients Prescribed High Dose Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain

Over the last 2 decades, medical providers have increasingly prescribed pharmaceutical opioids for chronic non-cancer pain, while opioid overdose death rates have quadrupled. Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, can be prescribed to patients with chronic pain to reverse an opioid overdose, yet little is known about how patients perceive this emerging practice. This study concludes that to improve the naloxone prescribing acceptability in primary care practice, medical providers and health systems may need to enhance patient education, employ empowering, non-judgmental communication styles and adequately frame discussions about naloxone to address patients’ fears.

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