A Qualitative Study of Non-Fatal Overdose among Opiate Users in South Wales, UK

Katharine Holloway, Rhian Hills

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper presents the findings of a qualitative study investigating the direct and indirect experiences of non-fatal overdose among a sample of opiate users in South Wales, UK. To date, research on non-fatal overdose has focused on quantitative methods with few studies investigating overdose events from a qualitative perspective. This study aimed to fill this gap in knowledge through in-depth interviews with a sample of drug users recruited from drug treatment agencies and prisons in South Wales. The research builds upon the findings of a large-scale national quantitative survey of injecting opiate users across Wales in which a small number of qualitative interviews were also undertaken. The principal objectives of the research were to understand (a) what precipitates an overdose, (b) how overdose events unfold, (c) how people respond during the course of such events, and (d) the short and long-term impact of such events on users and witnesses. The paper will discuss the results and consider the implications of the findings for policy, practice and future research.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2015
EventAmerican Society of Criminology Conference 2015 - Washington D.C., United States
Duration: 18 Nov 201521 Nov 2015


ConferenceAmerican Society of Criminology Conference 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington D.C.


  • Drug use
  • drug misuse
  • drug abuse
  • fatal overdose
  • non-fatal overdose
  • opiate users
  • South Wales
  • overdose events


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