Naloxone, which can be effective in reversing heroin overdoses, is, from the 1 October 2015, more readily available for those that need it. Although naloxone will remain a prescription only medicine, the legislative change will crucially mean people working in drug treatment services are able to supply the drug, without a prescription, to anyone needing it to stop a heroin overdose. In addition to previous legislation, from 1 October 2015:
Naloxone can be supplied by a drug treatment service to any individual needing it for saving a life in an emergency.
So it can be supplied without prescription to:
- someone who is using or has previously used opiates (illicit or prescribed) and is at potential risk of overdose
- a carer, family member or friend liable to be on hand in case of overdose
- a named individual in a hostel (or other facility where drug users gather and might be at risk of overdose), which could be
- a manager or other staff
There is no need for the usual Prescription Only Medicine requirements, just a requirement that the supply is suitably recorded.