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FEATURED RESEARCH

Finding a Needle in a Haystack: Take-Home Naloxone in England 2017/18

Release surveyed each of the 152 local authority areas in England, as local authorities are responsible for commissioning drug services, which give out take-home naloxone. The report includes findings on the availability of take-home naloxone across local authority areas, the scale of take-home naloxone supply in community settings, and coverage among people who use opiates and opiate clients in drug treatment.

Recomendations
  • Recommendation 1
    Take-home naloxone should be provided in every local authority in England.
  • Recommendation 2
    Local authorities should be giving out at least one take-home naloxone kit for every person using opiates in their area.
  • Recommendation 3
    Local authorities should make take-home naloxone available to any person requesting it, particularly to groups that are at risk of having an opiate-related overdose or are likely to witness someone having an opiate-related overdose.
  • Recommendation 4
    Local authorities should remove any unnecessary requirements to receive take-home naloxone, particularly requirements to engage with services providing take-home naloxone.
  • Recommendation 5
    Local authorities should monitor take-home naloxone provision in their area, including by recording the number of naloxone kits purchased and dispensed, and by monitoring expiry dates of naloxone for recalls and reissues.
  • Recommendation 6
    Support and guidance for local authorities on the local provision of naloxone should be provided nationally in England as a matter of urgency to assist in co-ordination and monitoring of provision and gaps.

Latest Research

Cost-effectiveness analysis of alternative naloxone distribution strategies: First responder and lay distribution in the United States

The U.S. is facing an unprecedented number of opioid-related overdose deaths, and an array of other countries have experienced increases in opioid-related fatalities. In the U.S., naloxone is increasingly distributed to first responders to improve early administration to overdose victims, but its cost-effectiveness has not been studied. Lay distribution, in contrast, has been found to be cost-effective, but rising naloxone prices and increased mortality due to synthetic opioids may reduce cost-effectiveness. We evaluate the cost-effectiveness of increased naloxone distribution to (a) people likely to witness or experience overdose (“laypeople”); (b) police and firefighters; (c) emergency medical services (EMS) personnel; and (d) combinations of these groups.

Middle-aged generation most likely to die by suicide and drug poisoning

A generation of people born in the 1960s and 1970s, known as Generation X, are dying from suicide or drug poisoning in greater numbers than ever. ONS data for England and Wales has shown that in the late 1980s to early 1990s, the age at which most people died by taking their own lives or drug poisoning was concentrated around this generation, when they were in their 20s.

Take-Home Naloxone for the Emergency Interim Management of Opioid Overdose: The Public Health Application of an Emergency Medicine

Naloxone is a well-established essential medicine for the treatment of life-threatening heroin/opioid overdose in emergency medicine. Over two decades, the concept of ‘take-home naloxone’ has evolved, comprising pre-provision of an emergency supply to laypersons likely to witness an opioid overdose (e.g. peers and family members of people who use opioids as well as non-medical personnel), with the recommendation to administer the naloxone to the overdose victim as interim care while awaiting an ambulance.

Community responders more likely to seek help during overdose

Community members responding to an overdose with naloxone are more likely to seek emergency help when naloxone does not work or takes more time to work. Published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the results show several factors associated with calling emergency services when helping someone with naloxone.

Hospital Observation Upon Reversal (HOUR) With Naloxone: A Prospective Clinical Prediction Rule Validation Study

St. Paul’s Early Discharge Rule was derived to determine which patients could be safely discharged from the emergency department after a 1‐hour observation period following naloxone administration for opiate overdose. The rule suggested that patients could be safely discharged if they could mobilize as usual and had a normal oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, temperature, heart rate, and Glasgow Coma Scale score.

Finding a Needle in a Haystack: Take-Home Naloxone in England 2017/18

Release surveyed each of the 152 local authority areas in England, as local authorities are responsible for commissioning drug services, which give out take-home naloxone. The report includes findings on the availability of take-home naloxone across local authority areas, the scale of take-home naloxone supply in community settings, and coverage among people who use opiates and opiate clients in drug treatment.

 
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