Take home Naloxone kits are saving lives
Author: Dean Spruce, Comms & Media, VOICES
Last week the VOICES team received vital training from Stoke on Trent Community Drug and Alcohol Service alongside NHS Combined Healthcare about Naloxone, the emergency antidote for overdoses caused by heroin and other opiates/opioids (such as methadone, morphine and fentanyl).
The main life-threatening effect of heroin and other opiates is to slow down and stop breathing. Naloxone blocks this effect and reverses the breathing difficulties. Naloxone is a prescription-only medicine and cannot therefore be sold over the counter. It can however be supplied without prescription by drug services and can be used by anyone to save a life in an emergency.
Delivered by Stuart Fisher, Steve McDonald and Allan Sargent the training talked the team through how the antidote works on the body and what to do in an emergency situation, including the safe administering of the drug. Following a short test all who attended were issued with a certificate and an emergency Naloxone kit to be carried whilst working on the front line and out in the community. Since December 2016, 500 kits have been distributed by the trio and to date there have been 13 known (recorded) reversals from overdose. In addition to saving lives Naloxone also saves money, the use of the kits reducing the cost of an overdose situation to the emergency services from a potential £20,000 per person down to around just £400.
If you are interested in finding out more about Naloxone or would like to speak to the team to arrange training for your service, contact [email protected]