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We explored perspectives of people who use drugs (PWUD) on the changing drug supply in Oregon, experiences of and response to fentanyl-involved overdose, and recommendations from PWUD to reduce overdose risk within the context of illicit fentanyl’s dramatic increase in the recreational drug supply over the past decade.
PWUD knew about fentanyl, expressed concern about fentanyl pills, and were aware of other illicit drugs containing fentanyl. Participants were aware of the increased risk of an overdose but remained reluctant to engage with professional first responders due to fear of arrest. Participants had recommendations for reducing fentanyl overdose risk, including increasing access to information, harm reduction supplies (e.g., naloxone, fentanyl test strips), and medications for opioid use disorder; establishing drug checking services and overdose prevention sites; legalizing and regulating the drug supply; and reducing stigma enacted by healthcare providers.
In-depth telephone interviews (n=34)