Naloxone on Newsnight

Newsnight reported from Liverpool on Monday 9th January asking if Naloxone should be more readily available? Watch it below and please share amongst your networks.

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Support Don’t Punish day of action

The Support Don’t Punish global day of action is on 26th June every year and this year is set to be the biggest yet with 160 cities joining forces to call for drug policy reform.

The aim for the Global Day of Action is to produce high-profile and visually symbolic local actions. The events are planned locally and you can see here what events are happening near you on the campaign page. Look out for the NAG members that are getting involved in London, Liverpool and Bedford.

There are plenty of inspiration and useful resources online.

You can find out more information about Support Don’t Punish on their website.

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EMCDDA Report – Preventing opioid overdose deaths with take-home naloxone

This publication examines the case for distributing naloxone, an emergency medication, to people who inject opioids such as heroin and to others who might witness an opioid overdose. Through its capacity to reverse opioid overdose, naloxone can save lives if administered in time. This comprehensive review looks at opioid overdose and how naloxone counteracts it, and discusses the circumstances of opioid overdose deaths and the use of naloxone in regular clinical practice. As well as documenting the historical development and spread of take-home naloxone programmes in Europe and beyond, the study looks at the practical side of their implementation, including the training of naloxone recipients in how to recognise and respond to an overdose. Although take-home naloxone is supported by the World Health Organization, the report finds that barriers to its access exist in Europe and considers how the availability of the intervention may be expanded.

Download a copy of the report here or request copies by emailing publications@emcdda.europa.eu.

Take-home naloxone from October 2015

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.

Public Health England has previously issued advice for commissioners of services on how naloxone can be supplied locally and further information about the legislation change can be found here.

This Is How England Could Stop Its Heroin Users Dying from Overdoses

Max Daly writes in Vice about the recent overdose deaths in Nottinghamshire and the lack of action in England to stop this happening.

“Earlier this month, six Nottinghamshire residents died in the space of 36 hours after injecting what’s suspected to be a super-strong batch of heroin. Chris Kenny, the county’s director of public health, was quick to dub this a “public health emergency”.”

Read the full article here.