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Article

Peer Support and Overdose Prevention Responses: A Systematic ‘State-of-the-Art’ Review

1
Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK
2
Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Joint first authors.
Academic Editors: Natasha Reid and Maike Neuhaus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12073; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212073
Received: 29 September 2021 / Revised: 8 November 2021 / Accepted: 11 November 2021 / Published: 17 November 2021
Overdose prevention for people who use illicit drugs is essential during the current overdose crisis. Peer support is a process whereby individuals with lived or living experience of a particular phenomenon provide support to others by explicitly drawing on these experiences. This review provides a systematic search and evidence synthesis of peer support within overdose prevention interventions for people who use illicit drugs. A systematic search of six databases (CINAHL, SocINDEX, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Knowledge) was conducted in November 2020 for papers published in English between 2000 and 2020. Following screening and full-text review, 46 papers met criteria and were included in this review. A thematic analysis approach was used to synthesize themes. Important findings include: the value of peers in creating trusted services; the diversity of peers’ roles; the implications of barriers on peer-involved overdose prevention interventions; and the stress and trauma experienced by peers. Peers play a pivotal role in overdose prevention interventions for people who use illicit drugs and are essential to the acceptability and feasibility of such services. However, peers face considerable challenges within their roles, including trauma and burnout. Future interventions must consider how to support and strengthen peer roles in overdose settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: harm reduction; peer support; peer-involved interventions; illicit drug use; overdose prevention; lived experience; systematic review; state-of-the art review harm reduction; peer support; peer-involved interventions; illicit drug use; overdose prevention; lived experience; systematic review; state-of-the art review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mercer, F.; Miler, J.A.; Pauly, B.; Carver, H.; Hnízdilová, K.; Foster, R.; Parkes, T. Peer Support and Overdose Prevention Responses: A Systematic ‘State-of-the-Art’ Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 12073. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212073

AMA Style

Mercer F, Miler JA, Pauly B, Carver H, Hnízdilová K, Foster R, Parkes T. Peer Support and Overdose Prevention Responses: A Systematic ‘State-of-the-Art’ Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(22):12073. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212073

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mercer, Fiona, Joanna A. Miler, Bernie Pauly, Hannah Carver, Kristina Hnízdilová, Rebecca Foster, and Tessa Parkes. 2021. "Peer Support and Overdose Prevention Responses: A Systematic ‘State-of-the-Art’ Review" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 22: 12073. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212073

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