The increasing toxicity of opioids in the unregulated drug market has led to escalating numbers of overdoses in Canada and worldwide; takehome naloxone (THN) is an evidence-based intervention that distributes kits containing naloxone to people in the community who may witness an overdose. The purpose of this guidance is to provide policy recommendations for territorial, provincial and federal THN programs, using evidence from scientific and grey literature and community evidence that reflects 11 years of THN distribution in Canada.
The Naloxone Guidance Development Group — a multidisciplinary team including people with lived and living experience and expertise of drug use — used the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation (AGREE II) instrument to inform development of this guidance. We considered published evidence identified through systematic reviews of all literature types, along with community evidence and expertise, to generate recommendations between December 2021 and September 2022. We solicited feedback on preliminary recommendations through an External Review Committee and a public input process. The project was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research through the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse. We used the Guideline International Network principles for managing competing interests.