Date of Publication

Winter 1-25-2019



In 2017, First Responders (EMS, Police, and Fire Department) in Vermont administered 848 doses of naloxone (Narcan®), an opioid antagonist that can block the effects of opioids in overdose. However, the rate of opioid-related fatalities has continued to rise from 74 in 2015 to 101 in 2017. Vermont CARES, a nonprofit organization, helps address this issue by working “for and with Vermonters affected by HIV/AIDS to promote well-being through a continuum of prevention, support, and advocacy services.” Their syringe service programs throughout the state provide access to clean needles, overdose prevention education, and naloxone.


1. To better understand the perceived experience of opioid drug users (Vermont CARES clients) when interacting with First Responders following an overdose.

2. To explore how such interactions of a Vermont CARES client – essentially as positive or negative – affects the likelihood to request such help in the future


Jerry Larrabee

UVM Larner College of Medicine

Peter Jacobsen

Vermont CARES


Vermont CARES


HIV, Immunization and Infectious Diseases, Substance Abuse, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health, Access to Health Services

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Impact of Interactions Between First Responders and Opioid Drug Users