Engagement in opioid agonist therapy and risk for repeat overdose in people living with and without HIV who experienced a nonfatal opioid overdose: Providing insight to improve clinical care

The ongoing drug toxicity and overdose (OD) crisis has ruined the lives of many people in British Columbia (BC). Opioid agonist therapy (OAT) reduces the risk for an OD, but not everyone who needs OAT has access to and is taking OAT. People living with HIV (PLWH) are disproportionately affected by the OD crisis and may be less likely to have access to OAT. This project aims to contribute to a strategy to connect people who visit an emergency department (ED) or a hospital due to a nonfatal opioid OD (NFOOD) with primary care and OAT. I will use routinely collected health data on all PLWH and a 10 percent random sample of the general population in BC, between 1992 and 2020. I will investigate — of everyone who visited an ED or a hospital after a NFOOD — who is most at risk of 1) not being connected to primary care and OAT, and 2) a repeated OD. I will compare people living with and without HIV. I also will have conversations with professionals from various backgrounds and individuals with lived and living experience. Through these, I hope to learn more about barriers to care. Based on what I learned, I will formulate recommendations on how to help people that experienced a NFOOD connect with care that best suits their needs, including OAT.