Reducing Opioid-Related Mortality in Wyoming
thesisposted on 2019-12-13, 00:00 authored by Nathan Strong
Opioid-related mortality is a devastating, and often preventable, element of the opioid crisis. The problem of opioid overdoses presents unique challenges for the state of Wyoming due to the rural setting and limited access to life-saving interventions. This research aims to examine the current intervention strategies and develop a guide for future outreach along the three pillars of critical access; emergency services, healthcare providers, and public access in Wyoming. The methods included drawing on over 36 months of experience as a state-licensed paramedic working in Wyoming, content analysis of state legislation, analyzing statistical data at both state and national levels, and speaking with members from the Wyoming Department of Health. The results showed that, while much is being done to combat the opioid crisis in Wyoming, there are additional critical access interventions that should be established to reduce-opioid-related mortality in the state. Emergency response professionals as first responders play a vital role in reducing opioid-related mortality. However, there is an uneven utilization of best practices particularly associated with the availability and distribution of Narcan (naloxone) and uneven training for opioid overdose response among first responders in the state.