Bioethics Blogs

Fordham RETI Faculty Member Develops Online Overdose Education Modules


An alarming increase in overdose, largely from opioid-associated painkillers, but also heroin, has been recorded nationwide. In response, Dr. Janie Simmons – a researcher at the National Development & Research Institute, and member of the Fordham University HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute – in collaboration with an expert team of physicians, nurses, other substance use researchers, and curriculum and graphic designers – created two interactive, computer-based, overdose prevention education modules.

The two modules, free of cost and available at, were designed to prepare both laypersons and first responders (police, firefighters, EMTs) to use Naloxone for overdose rescue. They were adapted from face-to-face, evidence-based models and were funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institutes of Drug Abuse (Grant # 1R43DA029358-01A1 and Grant # 1R43DA033746-01). Both modules have the potential to significantly impact overdose mortality rates in cities and towns throughout the United States.

“In recent years, more people have been dying of overdoses,” Simmons explained. “Overdoses now are taking more lives than the AIDS epidemic at its peak.”

The modules can be used either as stand-alone trainings or as a complement to face-to-face trainings, and can be accessed individually or be utilized in a group training exercise. also features the Naloxone Finder, which allows users to enter their zip code and find the nearest location where Naloxone is available, in addition to updated news and information regarding overdose, drug treatment, and related topics. Simmons, who has worked with people who use heroin and/or opioid analgesics over the years, hopes that in the near future, Naloxone becomes a standard part of first aid kits that people keep in their homes.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.