Date of Conferral





Public Health


Ahmet Sapci


Approximately 2.1 million people in the United States suffer from opioid use disorder, and over 47,600 people die from opioid-related overdoses each year. Opioid overdose is often treated with naloxone, a quick-acting medication that counteracts the effects of an overdose. This quantitative, correlational study was conducted to determine whether demographics (gender, age, and race) and naloxone accessibility were predictors of repeat opioid overdose in a Tennessee county in the United States. The study was developed and conducted using principles of the diffusion of innovations theory. Descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted using secondary, county-level data (n = 967) from emergency medical services (EMS) overdose rescues and a community-based naloxone education and distribution program. Results of multiple logistic regression and Poisson regression analyses indicated gender was the only demographic variable to be a statistically significant predictor of repeat opioid overdose. The odds ratio of females was .37 times that of males, indicating females were 63% less likely to experience a repeat opioid overdose compared to males (p = .02). Naloxone accessibility, as measured by the distribution of naloxone kits through the community-based program and the naloxone dose administered by EMS first responders, was not a statistically significant predictor of repeat opioid overdose. The results of this study could be used to craft appropriate interventions to minimize overdose mortality statistics and curtail the deadly opioid epidemic.