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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1122; doi:10.3390/ijerph13111122

Opioid Substitution Treatment Planning in a Disaster Context: Perspectives from Emergency Management and Health Professionals in Aotearoa/New Zealand

1
Joint Centre for Disaster Research, School of Psychology, Massey University, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
2
School of Psychology, Massey University, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 18 September 2016 / Revised: 28 October 2016 / Accepted: 5 November 2016 / Published: 10 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Evolving Relationship between Science and Disaster Risk Reduction)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [280 KB, uploaded 10 November 2016]

Abstract

Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST) is a harm reduction strategy enabling opiate consumers to avoid withdrawal symptoms and maintain health and wellbeing. Some research shows that within a disaster context service disruptions and infrastructure damage affect OST services, including problems with accessibility, dosing, and scripts. Currently little is known about planning for OST in the reduction and response phases of a disaster. This study aimed to identify the views of three professional groups working in Aotearoa/New Zealand about OST provision following a disaster. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 service workers, health professionals, and emergency managers in OST and disaster planning fields. Thematic analysis of transcripts identified three key themes, namely “health and wellbeing”, “developing an emergency management plan”, and “stock, dose verification, and scripts” which led to an overarching concept of “service continuity in OST preparedness planning”. Participants viewed service continuity as essential for reducing physical and psychological distress for OST clients, their families, and wider communities. Alcohol and drug and OST health professionals understood the specific needs of clients, while emergency managers discussed the need for sufficient preparedness planning to minimise harm. It is concluded that OST preparedness planning must be multidisciplinary, flexible, and inclusive. View Full-Text
Keywords: opioid substitution treatment; OST; vulnerability; disaster; preparedness; planning opioid substitution treatment; OST; vulnerability; disaster; preparedness; planning
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Blake, D.; Lyons, A. Opioid Substitution Treatment Planning in a Disaster Context: Perspectives from Emergency Management and Health Professionals in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 1122.

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