Special at-risk populations and need for diversified interventions to prevent overdoses: insights from the US and Europe, on fentanyl, suicidal overdoses and deaths among teen-agers

In programme
Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 - 13:20 to 14:50
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Persons with substance use disorders increasingly show heterogeneity in characteristics and needs and thereby the need for prevention, interventions and treatments are diverse. The symposium will focus on special sub-populations and identify group-specific risk factors among persons with substance use in order to better understand future needs for prevention and treatment. The symposium will reflect in particular on various aspects of the overdose situation and responses. With views from the US and Europe, the speakers will reflect in particular on fentanyl related deaths, suicidal overdoses and overdoses among teen-agers, as selected major public health concerns. We first focus on deaths where fentanyl was implicated. Persistent fentanyl use and consequences for treatment provision and risk for harm, will be discussed with experiences from the USA. In contrast, the European situation of fentanyl fatal and non-fatal toxicity will be presented and the range of responses in place or in development discussed. To reflect on the diversity of the needs, two other special populations and public health issues are considered: the intentional overdoses and the overdose among teenagers and very young adults. Discussions will follow about commonalities but also the need for people-centered, decentralised, integrated, and evidence-based interventions. The diversity of overdose deaths calls for complex and multifactorial responses, for many lives to be saved.