Research by Maine Medical Center has found that many patients considered at high risk for opioid overdose were not prescribed an overdose-reversing drug.

Researchers found that 6 percent of high-risk patients received a prescription for naloxone when they visited internal medicine clinics at Maine Medical Partners.

Dr. Kinna Thakarar, one of the three researchers, said there were disparities of prescribing “based on age, income, and ethnicity.” Patients were more likely to receive prescriptions if they were younger, of Hispanic origin or receiving care in a lower-income community.

Thakarar said the findings prompted parent company MaineHealth to improve its naloxone prescribing practices. MaineHealth also created a Naloxone toolkit aimed at educating providers and clinicians to recognize risk factors for overdose and how to treat it.

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