Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analyses to estimate country, regional, and global estimates of recent and lifetime non-fatal overdose prevalence among PWID. Using meta-regression analyses we also determined associations between sample characteristics and non-fatal overdose prevalence.
Results: An estimated 3.2 (1.8-5.2) million PWID have experienced at least one overdose in the previous year. Among PWID, 20.5% (15.0-26.1%) and 41.5% (34.6-48.4%) had experienced a non-fatal event in the previous 12 months and lifetime respectively. Frequent injecting was strongly associated with PWID reporting recent and lifetime non-fatal overdose. Estimates of recent non-fatal overdose were particularly high in Asia and North America.
Conclusion: Around one in five PWID are at an elevated risk of fatally overdosing every year, however there is substantial geographical variation. In countries with higher rates of non-fatal overdose there is need to introduce or mainstream overdose prevention strategies such as opioid agonist treatment and naloxone administration training programs.
- drug-related mortality
- injecting behavior
- population size
- opioid overdose
- people who inject drugs
- non-fatal overdose