In 2017 our research team began work on an innovative project that would underpin Australia’s first dedicated website presenting carefully researched personal stories of opioid overdose and the use of take-home naloxone to save lives – Overdoselifesavers.org. The website has two aims. First, it aims to support people affected by opioid overdose and thinking about using take-home naloxone. Second, it aims to inform the public about overdose and what can be done about it. Overall it seeks to look beyond the statistics and recognise that behind each death from overdose was a human life that had its own story and remains connected to the lives and stories of others. Overdoselifesavers.org explores many important questions. What is an opioid overdose? How do people manage and respond to them? What is take-home naloxone? What is it like to respond to overdoses with and without naloxone? This website sheds light on the stories of people affected by overdose and explores the different ways people who consume drugs manage overdose.
Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews, the website presents detailed accounts of opioid overdose and saving lives with take-home naloxone. Also presented are key themes found in the interviews:
- Experiences of overdose and strategies used to avoid it;
- Helping family and friends;
- Coping with stigma and discrimination;
- Health professionals’ reflections on take-home naloxone;
And much more. These themes are presented using video re-enactments, original audio recordings and written extracts from the interviews. Planned and designed with the help of a national advisory panel, Overdoselifesavers.org aims to fill in the many gaps in public discussion of overdose, to counter stigmatising misconceptions, and to promote understanding and more effective community responses.