Emergency responders face challenges in arriving timely to administer naloxone in opioid overdoses. Therefore, interest in having lay citizens administer naloxone nasal spray has emerged. These citizens, however, must be recruited and trained, and be in proximity to the overdose. This study aimed to develop the Opioid Rapid Response System (ORRS)tm to meet this need by developing a system to recruit and train citizen responders and evaluate outcomes in a randomized clinical trial. ORRS recruitment messages and training platform were developed iteratively and then outcomes for each were evaluated in a randomized, unblinded two-arm waitlist-controlled trial. ORRS was field tested in 5 Indiana counties, recruiting adult citizen responders (age 18 or older) who did not self-identity as a certified first responder. Participants were recruited using either personal or communal messages and then randomly assigned to online naloxone training and waitlisted-control conditions. Pre- and post-surveys were administered online to measure the exposure to recruitment messages and training effects on knowledge of opioid overdose, confidence responding, concerns about responding, and intent to respond. Of the 220 randomized participants (114 training, 106 waitlisted-control), 140 were analyzed (59 training, 81 waitlisted-control). Recruited participants more frequently identified with communal appeal than with the personal appeal (chi-square = 53.5; p < 0.0001). Between-group differences for intervention effects were significant for knowledge of overdose signs (Cohen’s d = 1.17), knowledge of overdose management (d = 1.72), self-efficacy (d = 1.39), and concerns (d = 1.31), but not for intent (d = 0.17), which suffered from a ceiling effect. ORRS provides stronger support for efficacy than that reported for other training interventions and the digital modality eases rapid dissemination.
Trial Registration: NCT04589676.