Drug-related Deaths: Scottish Parliament Debate

Full text of the statement by Joe FitzPatrick (Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing) to the Scottish parliament on tackling drug-related deaths in Scotland. The text includes his statement, questions from other MPs and responses.

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Wake up – We Are Dying! A Call to Action from People who use Drugs on International Overdose Awareness Day

(INPUD) Our very lives, and the lives of those we love, are the human cost of this deadly war on drugs. All too often, drugs themselves are blamed for claiming so many lives. In reality, we should lay the blame on the architects of the disastrous drug war, the lack of political will to find real solutions, and the societal apathy generated by decades of stigma and discrimination. The combined cost of all this is proving too brutal to bear. Today, as we do every other day, drug user unions and networks call for action.

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OD Buster – Digitally Empowering the Response to Opioid Overdose

OD Buster is a new community based overdose response networking app that connects people in need of assistance with an overdose with trained volunteers in possession of naloxone in the vicinity in real time, using GPS, Wi-Fi and other data technology. In case of an overdose in progress, the app will alert nearby volunteers and direct them to the person’s location to administer the life-saving antidote. Nearby volunteers will typically arrive before the ambulance and those extra minutes could mean the difference between life and death.

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Device for Opioid Overdoses Releases Naloxone Automatically

Naloxone is an antidote that prevents opioids from binding to brain receptors, but when a person does overdose it’s often too late for them to administer the life-saving drug themselves, as they may be incapacitated. Now, researchers at Purdue University have developed a smart system, which includes an implantable naloxone-releasing device, that can automatically halt an overdose without anyone’s intervention.

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Zoe Carre: Take home naloxone is not reaching those who most need it

Naloxone is key is to addressing the current opioid crisis, but poor systemic distribution means it isn’t saving the lives it should, says Zoe Carre. Drug-related deaths are at record high levels across Britain. While estimates suggest that illicit opiate use is less prevalent than the use of other drugs, data show that nearly 9 in 10 drug-related deaths across the UK involved an opioid. Many of these deaths could be prevented by supplying naloxone to people likely to experience or witness an opioid overdose.

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