People with a nonfatal opioid overdose who have access to a peer support program while in the emergency department are more likely to initiate treatment and less likely to have repeated overdoses, according to a Rutgers Health study. The study is the largest study on outcomes associated with emergency department-based peer support for opioid use disorders and was published in JAMA Network Open.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nonfatal drug overdoses are treated in emergency departments, which historically have stabilized and then discharged patients without linking them to treatment options.

The study analyzed the outcomes of the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program, a New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services–supported program that connect patients admitted for opioid overdose to emergency departments with peer recovery specialists—people who have lived experiences with substance use disorders who provide nonclinical assistance, recovery support and referrals for assessment and substance use disorder treatment. To read the full story.