FAQ

What does MO-HOPE offer?

  • We provide training and tools for overdose prevention and reversal to diverse professional and community audiences – including police officers and other first responders, substance use treatment providers, and general community members
  • We also try to raise awareness and knowledge surrounding the overdose crisis, including effective strategies for curbing the trend.

 How can I learn more about getting involved with MO-HOPE?

  • To schedule a training or get more information, please request a training and a MO-HOPE staff member will get in touch with you within 1 business day.

What are the liabilities if we implement a naloxone program?

  • Recently enacted legislation protects from criminal, civil, and professional liability related to naloxone administration. In other words, you are protected by law to carry and administer naloxone in good faith. For more information about Missouri Naloxone Legislation, visit here.

How have local law enforcement naloxone programs worked so far?

  • Several law enforcement agencies in Missouri are equipped with naloxone and saving lives. The St. Louis County Police Department reversed over 40 overdoses in 2016, and the St. Charles County Police Department has reversed over 23 overdoses.

Don’t people who get revived just go back to using?

  • Substance use disorders, just like other chronic medical and mental health conditions, carry with them a high risk of relapse. However, an untreated overdose often leads to death. Reversing an overdose gives someone another chance at life and recovery.

What are the health risks to officers?

  •  MO-HOPE provides naloxone in the form of Narcan nasal spray. This is a preassembled unit that involves no needles or injections. There is no sharps risk associated with

What if I give naloxone to a patient who has a different kind of overdose or isn’t overdosing at all? Might the medicine cause harm?’

  • No, not at all. Naloxone has one single action – to remove opioids from our receptors. It has no effect on people who do not have opioids in their system.  It is an extremely safe (and effective) medication.

How should we safely store the Narcan and how long does it last?

  • Keep Narcan out of extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. Don’t leave it in your vehicle during hot summers and cold winters. Narcan shelf life is 24 months, but studies have found it lasts much longer if stored appropriately.

How long does it take for naloxone to take effect?

  • Anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, depending on the route of administration and the amount of opioids in someone’s system.

 

Fentanyl

What is fentanyl?

  • Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic (manufactured) opioid prescribed by physicians to treat patients with severe pain, such as post-surgical or cancer pain. Legally prescribed fentanyl generally comes in the form of a patch, nasal spray, lozenge, injection, tablets or films. However, illegally manufactured fentanyl can be found in a powdered form and is frequently used to “cut” heroin or in counterfeit prescription pills (including fake opioids and benzodiazepines).

Why is fentanyl so dangerous?

  • Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine and is often added to drugs without the user’s knowledge. This places users at a higher risk for overdose since a dose that appears safe may actually be lethal. Most users try to actively avoid fentanyl but are often unable to detect its presence.

What does a fentanyl overdose look like?

  • The onset of an overdose caused by fentanyl can occur at a much quicker rate (sometimes within seconds) than heroin and may take multiple doses of naloxone to counteract due to the potency of fentanyl.  In the majority of cases, fentanyl overdoses appear very similar to other opioid overdoses. However, atypical overdose symptoms due to fentanyl have been reported, including:
    • Immediate blue or grey lips
    • Body stiffening/seizure like activity
    • Foaming at the mouth
    • Confusion before becoming unresponsive

How do I respond to a fentanyl overdose?

  • Fentanyl overdoses are often indistinguishable from overdoses caused by any other opioids and should be responded to similarly beginning with administering naloxone, calling 911, and starting rescue breaths (see above).

Where can I go for additional information?

 

Missouri Law Enforcement and Public Safety Officers

Law Enforcement and Public Safety departments across Missouri received an email from the Missouri Department of Public Safety regarding the MO-HOPE opioid overdose reporting system (field reports). Many of the departments have expressed similar questions and concerns, which are addressed below:

Is the overdose reporting system mandatory?

  • Although field reports are not yet mandatory, their use has been requested by the Missouri Department of Public Safety. Tracking these incidents will inform state-wide prevention and intervention efforts and allow us to most effectively support our law enforcement and first responders. As such, each police department will have different protocols regarding filling out the MO-HOPE field report.

Why did the email state that these reports must be submitted within 12 hours of the overdose event?

  • We strongly recommend entering the field report as soon as possible to avoid forgetting and to ensure accurate information regarding the overdose event. Within 12 hours is ideal, but we understand that that may not always be possible/plausible to do so, therefore personnel can still fill out the field report after 12 hours has passed.

What is being done with the data collected through the field reports?

  • The data collected through the MO-HOPE field report will help us better understand overdoses are occurring, naloxone administration patterns, and success rates of overdose reversal attempts.
  • The data will be utilized in a few ways. Primarily, the MO-HOPE project will use these numbers to ensure we are training and equipping those most likely to respond to opioid overdose events to the best of our abilities. Additionally, this information will be used to help develop future programs and obtain funding for grants. Aggregated information is available to the public on our website (under ‘Results’) to help other programs and departments gain insight to how opioid overdoses have impacted communities across Missouri, and to use that information to implement or strengthen efforts to combat the opioid crisis.

Is the field report confidential?

  • The field reports are submitted through REDCap, which is a secure database that is only accessible to the MO-HOPE evaluation team. No personal information is collected and all reports will remain confidential.