Document Type



Opioid overdose, naloxone distribution, decision-making


Background: Opioid overdose deaths continue to rise nationally. The demand for naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote, is outpacing the supply. With increasing naloxone requests, tools to prioritize distribution are critical to ensure available supplies will reach those at highest risk of overdose. Methods: We developed a standardized “Naloxone Request Form” (NRF) and corresponding weighted prioritization algorithm to serve as decisional aid to better enable grant staff to prioritize naloxone distribution in a data-driven manner. The algorithm computed raw priority scores for each agency, which were then separated into the predetermined quintiles. Historical naloxone distribution decisions were compared with agencies’ prioritization quintile. Results: Results demonstrated that the NRF and corresponding algorithm was successful at prioritizing agencies based on potential impact. Although, overall, naloxone was distributed more heavily to the agencies deemed highest priority, our algorithm identified significant shortcomings of the “first come, first served” method of distribution we had initially deployed. Conclusions: This work has laid the foundation to use this tool prospectively to allow for data-driven decision-making for naloxone distribution. Our tool is flexible and can be customized to best fit the needs of a variety of programs and locations to ensure the distribution of limited supplies of naloxone have the greatest impact.

Publication Date

January 2021

Publication Title

Substance Abuse







Included in

Psychology Commons



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