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Methods for delivering the UK's multi-centre prison-based naloxone-on-release pilot randomised trial (N-ALIVE): Europe's largest prison-based randomised controlled trial

Meade, AM; Bird, SM; Strang, J; Pepple, T; Nichols, LL; Mascarenhas, M; Choo, L; (2017) Methods for delivering the UK's multi-centre prison-based naloxone-on-release pilot randomised trial (N-ALIVE): Europe's largest prison-based randomised controlled trial. Drug and Alcohol Review 10.1111/dar.12592. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: Naloxone is an opioid antagonist used for emergency resuscitation following opioid overdose. Prisoners with a history of heroin use by injection have a high risk of drug-related death in the first weeks after prison-release. The N-ALIVE trial was planned as a large prison-based randomised controlled trial (RCT) to test the effectiveness of naloxone-on-release in the prevention of fatal opiate overdoses soon after release. The N-ALIVE pilot trial was conducted to test the main trial's assumptions on recruitment of prisons and prisoners, and the logistics for ensuring that participants received their N-ALIVE pack on release. DESIGN AND METHODS: Adult prisoners who had ever injected heroin, were incarcerated for ≥7 days and were expected to be released within 3 months were eligible. Participants were randomised to receive, on liberation, a pack containing a single 'rescue' injection of naloxone or a control pack with no naloxone syringe. The trial was double-blind prior to prison-release. RESULTS: We randomised 1685 prisoners (842 naloxone; 843 control) across 16 prisons in England. We stopped randomisation on 8 December 2014 because only one-third of administrations of naloxone-on-release were to the randomised ex-prisoner; two-thirds were to others whom we were not tracing. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Prevention RCTs are seldom conducted within prisons; we demonstrated the feasibility of conducting a multi-prison RCT to prevent fatality from opioid overdose in the outside community. We terminated the N-ALIVE trial due to the infeasibility of individualised randomisation to naloxone-on-release. Large RCTs are feasible within prisons.

Type: Article
Title: Methods for delivering the UK's multi-centre prison-based naloxone-on-release pilot randomised trial (N-ALIVE): Europe's largest prison-based randomised controlled trial
Location: Australia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/dar.12592
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/dar.12592
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: N-ALIVE, drug-related death, naloxone, prison-release, randomised
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10023823
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