Drug overdose is a major cause of premature death and morbidity among heroin users. This article examines recent research into heroin overdose to inform interventions that will reduce the rate of overdose death. The demographic characteristics of overdose cases are discussed, including factors associated with overdose: polydrug use, drug purity, drug tolerance, routes of administration, and suicide. Responses by heroin users at overdoses are also examined. Potential interventions to reduce the rate of overdose and overdose-related morbidity are examined in light of the emerging data in this field.
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Darke, S., Hall, W. Heroin overdose: Research and evidence-based intervention. J Urban Health 80, 189–200 (2003) doi:10.1093/jurban/jtg022