Acceptability of Overdose Prevention Sites in the Business Community in Baltimore, Maryland

Susan G. Sherman, Saba Rouhani, Rebecca Hamilton White, Noelle Weicker, Miles Morris, Kristin Schneider, Ju Nyeong Park, Colleen Barry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intervetions are urgently needed to reduce the trajectory of the US opioid overdose epidemic, yet implementation is often hampered by resistance or opposition from key community stakeholders. While businesses are economically and physically impacted by the opioid epidemic, they are rarely engaged in efforts to reduce its impact. The establishment of overdose prevention sites (OPS) is being discussed throughout many US jurisdictions with limited attention to the potential positive role of businesses in that process. We surveyed business owners and employees of businesses located in neighborhoods with concentrated drug markets. The study’s primary aim was to examine their attitudes to locally-placed OPS. An iterative, two-phase sampling strategy was used to identify recruitment zones. In person (December 2019–March 2020) and telephone-based (April–July 2020) surveys were administered to distinct business owners and employees (N = 149). Sixty-five percent of participants supported OPS in their neighborhood and 47% had recently witnessed an overdose in or around their workplace. While 70% had heard of naloxone, and 38% reported having it on the premises. Correlates of supporting an OPS locally included living in the same neighborhood as work (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.99, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.30–3.05); having a more positive attitude towards people who use drugs (aOR 1.33, 95% CI: 1.13–1.58); and having recently seen an overdose in/around the workplace (aOR 2.86, 95% CI: 1.11–7.32). Lack of support being an owner (aOR 0.35, 95% CI: 0.15–0.83). These data indicate the extent to which businesses are directly impacted by the opioid epidemic and the power of personal experience in shaping OPS support in advocacy efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-732
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Business support of harm reduction
  • Harm reduction
  • Opioid epidemic
  • Overdose prevention sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Acceptability of Overdose Prevention Sites in the Business Community in Baltimore, Maryland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this