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Harm Reduction Database Wales: Take Home Naloxone 2015-16

The supply of ‘Take Home Naloxone’ (THN) was initiated (pilot project) in 2009 as a harm reduction tool used to prevent fatal opioid poisonings, and has since been fully implemented across all health boards in Wales. This report provides data on the training and provision of THN kits from 49 registries across Wales recorded on the Harm Reduction Database Wales (HRD) during the period 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2016.

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Reducing Opioid-Related Deaths in the UK

In recent years, there have been substantial increases in the number of people dying in the UK where illicit drugs are reported to be involved in their death. The largest increase has been in deaths related to the misuse of opioid substances; 2,677 opioid-related deaths were registered in the UK in 2015. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) therefore set up a dedicated working group to examine how to reduce drug-related deaths, with a focus on opioid-related deaths.

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Effectiveness of Scotland’s National Naloxone Programme for reducing opioid‐related deaths: a before (2006–10) versus after (2011–13) comparison

In 2008, the UK Medical Research Council funded the pilot phase of the individually randomized N‐ALIVE Trial to test the effectiveness of naloxone‐on‐release for reducing eligible prisoners’ Drug Related Deaths within 4 weeks of their prison release (by 30%) and during the next 8 weeks (by 20%) 16. The N‐ALIVE Trial had been due to begin in Scotland’s adult prisons but, in January 2011, was pre‐empted when Scotland became the first country internationally to introduce a centrally funded, coordinated and evaluated National Naloxone Policy (NNP).

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Review of naloxone safety for opioid overdose: practical considerations for new technology and expanded public access

Opioid overdose and mortality have increased at an alarming rate prompting new public health initiatives to reduce drug poisoning. One initiative is to expand access to the opioid antidote naloxone. Naloxone has a long history of safe and effective use by organized healthcare systems and providers in the treatment of opioid overdose by paramedics/emergency medicine technicians, emergency medicine physicians and anesthesiologists. The safety of naloxone in a prehospital setting administered by nonhealthcare professionals has not been formally established but will likely parallel medically supervised experiences. Naloxone dose and route of administration can produce variable intensity of potential adverse reactions and opioid withdrawal symptoms: intravenous administration and higher doses produce more adverse events and more severe withdrawal symptoms in those individuals who are opioid dependent.

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Consideration of Naloxone

In May 2012 the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) released their report and advice to government on naloxone. The purpose of the report was to provide Government with advice on whether naloxone should be made more widely available, in order to prevent future drug-related deaths, and help engage and educate those most vulnerable of suffering an opioid overdose.

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