Date Presented

Spring 5-1-2023

Document Type



Biomedical Science

First Advisor

Kristin Shargots, DNP, RN, CNE

Second Advisor

Laura Kicklighter, PhD

Third Advisor

Amanda Pribble, MSN, RN, FNP-C


The opioid epidemic has damaged the lives of many Americans since the early 2000’s. As America continues to look for ways to fight the opioid epidemic and save this country, the idea of providing the rescue drug, naloxone, to the general public has been discussed and implemented in some areas. An overdose from opioids causes a person to have respiratory depression and eventually stop breathing. Without intervention, this quickly leads to death. Although the opioid epidemic is nationwide, some of the most significantly affected populations are the rural communities tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains. In rural areas of America, it can take too long for first responders to arrive and intervene before an overdose becomes fatal. The goal of this project is to analyze the current barriers and provide new solutions for reducing deaths caused by opioid overdoses in rural Appalachia. The U.S. strived to help stop the opioid epidemic, but it must keep evolving and changing its tactics as the epidemic continues. There are many barriers that prevent new approaches to the epidemic from being effectively implemented.