Association of Police and Crime Commissioners
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APCC addictions substance misuse leads welcome plan to widen access to the overdose

APCC Addictions and Substance Misuse Leads, David Sidwick and Joy Allen, have welcomed the Department of Health and Social Care’s announcement that the government will expand the availability of the counter-overdose treatment, Naloxone. The change will enable a range of professionals, including police officers and probation workers, to provide take-home supplies of the drug to vulnerable people without requiring a prescription, an approach supported by the APCC in our response to a wide-ranging government review of naloxone provision.  

Joy Allen said: "With around 40 deaths linked to opiate overdose every week in the UK, and growing concerns about the risk posed by synthetic opioids, we strongly support the government’s decision to expand the availability of naloxone for vulnerable people and urge police and criminal justice workers to make use of these new powers once they are available. We have worked closely with our NPCC colleagues to encourage all police forces to support officers to carry naloxone on a voluntary basis, with frontline officers in around thirty forces now carrying naloxone and know that this is saving lives."

David Sidwick said: "While we strongly support these proposals, the use of naloxone is always a last resort. We also need to redouble our efforts to prevent people from using drugs in the first place, and to get people with opiate addictions into evidence-based treatment that supports them to come off drugs and get their lives back on track. Not only is this best for them and their families, but it’s also one of the most effective ways that we can cut crime, with around half of all homicides and half of acquisitive crimes linked to drug dependency."

The APCC leads have also welcomed the Home Office’s announcement that six new synthetic opioids will be banned as Class A drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Notes for editors

  • David Sidwick is APCC Joint Lead for Addictions and Substance Misuse and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset.
  • Joy Allen is APCC Joint Lead for Addictions and Substance Misuse and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham.
  • The APCC and NPCC jointly delivered a national webinar on Naloxone for police forces and other partners in February which featured contributions from senior leaders from the NPCC, APCC, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, and leading academics.  
  • More information on the government’s announcement on Naloxone can be found here.
  • More information on the government's announcement on the Class A classification of six new synthetic opioids can be found here.
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