High willingness to use overdose prevention sites among suburban people who use drugs who do not inject

Kristin E. Schneider, Glenna J. Urquhart, Saba Rouhani, Sean T. Allen, Miles Morris, Susan G. Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Overdose prevention sites (OPS) are evidence-based interventions to improve public health, yet implementation has been limited in the USA due to a variety of legal impediments. Studies in various US settings have shown a high willingness to use OPS among urban and rural people who inject drugs, but data among people who use drugs (PWUD) via non-injection routes of administration in suburban areas are lacking. Methods: We utilized cross-sectional data from a sample of suburban PWUD who have not injected drugs in the past 3 months (N = 126) in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. We assessed PWUDs’ likelihood of using a hypothetical OPS and perceived potential barriers to accessing OPS. We tested for associations between sociodemographic characteristics, drug use, service access, and overdose experiences with willingness to utilize OPS. Findings: Participants’ median age was 42, and the majority were men (67%) and non-Hispanic Black (79%). Sixty-six percent reported willingness to use an OPS. Concerns about confidentiality (29%), arrest (20%), and transportation costs (22%) were the most anticipated barriers to using OPS. Men (75% vs 55%, p = 0.015), participants who used heroin (53% vs 32%, p = 0.017), and participants who used multiple overdose prevention behaviors (e.g., using fentanyl test strips) (36% vs 19%, p = 0.006) were more likely to report willingness to use OPS. Conclusion: Most suburban non-injecting PWUD in the sample were willing to use an OPS. OPS implementation strategies in suburban settings should be tailored to reach PWUD via non-injection routes of administration while meeting the unique needs of suburban contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number138
JournalHarm Reduction Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Harm reduction
  • Non-injection drug use
  • Overdose prevention sites
  • PWUD
  • Suburban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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