Date Completed

Spring 3-12-2017

Document Type

Masters Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Opioid abuse and overdose has seen a dramatic increase in the United States over the past decade. In 2015 the number of individuals who died of opioid overdose surpassed traffic fatalities related to alcohol for the first time in history. Fortunately, fatal overdose from opioids is not instantaneous and, if administered within a 1-3 hour window, pharmaceutical interventions such as nasal naloxone can reverse the overdose and safe a life.

The goal for this program is to educate homeless opioid users about the risks, signs, and symptoms of opioid overdose, provide them with naloxone for intranasal administration, and provide referrals for medication-assisted treatment. The overdose training includes a short screening to assess risk and a video to teach the signs and symptoms of opioid overdose. Through the distribution of naloxone and increased awareness of the risks of opioid overdose both hospital-related admissions and opioid related deaths could be lowered, thus decreasing the strain on our healthcare system.