Expanding access to naloxone
Consultation on making life-saving drug more widely available.
Services and individuals who are likely to witness a drugs overdose are being urged to have their say in a consultation on who should be able to supply and administer the life saving drug naloxone.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in Scotland families of those who use drugs, as well as a wide range of professionals who work in non-drugs services, have been allowed to legally supply take-home naloxone kits to anyone likely to witness an overdose. This was made possible after a change in guidelines issued by the Lord Advocate.
In normal times, naloxone – which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and save lives – is only legally available across the UK on prescription or from certain drug treatment services without a prescription.
A four nations consultation has now been launched to amend current legislation and permanently widen access to naloxone to all those who come into contact with people who use drugs. This includes police, nurses, midwives and prison officers.
However it also asks for suggestions of individuals or services that should be included in that list. The Scottish Government wants all those affected by drug use to have access to the medicine without fear of prosecution, including families of those at risk and a wide range of professionals.
Minister for Drugs Policy Angela Constance said:
“We are pleased to be part of this UK wide consultation but we are anxious to see what is being proposed go further to allow not just drug and emergency services to legally supply naloxone, but also non-drugs services, families of those affected by drug use, and anyone else who is likely to witness an overdose.
“We have called on the UK Government to make these changes permanent ensuring all people who need it have access to this life saving drug. So I am asking all those affected by drug use, whether you use drugs, have a family member who does, or you have contact with someone at risk, through your work to please take the opportunity to have your say.
“We have seen fast and bold action being taken by ‘non drug services’ to access naloxone to protect those most at risk. One of them is Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (SFAD) who with the support of the Scottish Drugs Forum (SFD) set up a click and deliver service which has now been supplying kits to those who need them for over a year.
“Naloxone is one of a wide range of measures being used to address the public health emergency of drugs deaths, but it plays an important role and allows those supplying the kits to connect people who use drugs and their families with appropriate local services. Seeing those services and individuals being unable to continue to access the medication would be truly devastating.
“Over the next five years we will spend £250 million on addressing this crisis and I am determined that every penny of this additional funding will make a difference.”
SDF Strategy Coordinator Kirsten Horsburgh said:
“Following the announcement of the temporary Lord Advocate statement in early 2020, Scotland has introduced the supply of naloxone from numerous ‘non drug treatment’ services across the country. This has included homelessness services, family support services and criminal justice services to name a few.
“We already recognise the significant benefits for widening naloxone provision through these routes and strongly encourage people to complete the consultation to ensure the permanency of this approach.
“We cannot afford to be short-sighted or restrictive in our efforts to get naloxone in to the hands of those likely to witness an overdose.”
The consultation runs until 28 September 2021
Latest News from
Action on single-use vapes23/02/2024 15:05:00
A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today.
One million payments for Scotland’s carers23/02/2024 12:05:00
£280 million paid to carers since launch of Carer’s Allowance Supplement.
Non-domestic rates relief statistics22/02/2024 10:25:00
An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.
Digital tech to drive health and social care innovation21/02/2024 16:10:00
Seer 2 platform supporting collaboration across NHS boards.
Helping people pay for costs of a funeral21/02/2024 15:10:00
Eligible people urged to apply for Funeral Support Payment
Dementia strategy: initial 2-year delivery plan - 2024 to 202620/02/2024 12:05:00
This delivery plan sets out how Scottish Government and COSLA will work with the voices of lived experience and delivery partners to begin to realise the vision for change set out in our new dementia strategy for Scotland: Everyone's Story
Supporting students over the summer20/02/2024 10:05:00
Higher education students can apply to spread their student financial support package over a 12-month period for the first time this coming academic year.
XL Bully dog safeguards coming into force19/02/2024 15:05:00
XL Bully dog owners are being urged to prepare for new rules which are expected to come into force this Friday.