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Reducing First Responder Occupational Exposures to Opioids

Posted: March 30, 2023

The rate of non-fatal overdose encounters by emergency medical services increased from 98.1 per 10,000 in January 2018 to 179.1 per 10,000 encounters in March 2022. This information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was compiled using data from 491 counties from 21 states.

Supporting first responders

The Center for Health, Work and Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health will develop and evaluate an educational campaign for first responders that provides education related to occupational exposures to illicit drugs, with an overall goal of reducing occupational exposures.


First responders are being asked to complete a survey to help develop the training. This brief survey takes 5-10 minutes to complete and asks first responders about their experiences on the job involving potential or actual opioid exposures, how they are trained, and how they prefer to receive educational information. Responses are anonymous and no personally identifying information is collected.

CHWE is working on this project with support from an Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, with the goal of helping first responders improve their knowledge and abilities around responding to calls that involve potential or actual illicit drug exposures.

For more information

Questions about this project can be emailed to Carol Brown at the CHWE.

This article is based on content in the
March 30, 2023 InfoGram.

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