On Sunday at a media briefing in Edinburgh, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman announced that “the Lord Advocate has confirmed that – for the duration of this crisis – it would not be in the public interest to prosecute any individual – working for a service registered with the Scottish Government – who supplies naloxone in an emergency, to save a life”. This development aims to increase the distribution of naloxone kits by relaxing the rules around who can supply the life-saving medication. It remains the case that anyone can legally administer naloxone, to anyone, for the purpose of responding to a suspected opiate-related overdose.
The window clings with the well-known ‘save someone’ logo will be provided to local naloxone leads who will distribute to services in their health board area that have naloxone available for use in an emergency. Most of these services will have naloxone available to take home as well. The ‘save someone’ logo was established in 2012 and has been used by colleagues and agencies internationally to promote the life-saving medication.
Short video from SURE Recovery about naloxone provision in the UK.
Interview by the Global Drug Survey with Kirsten Horsburgh, the National Naloxone Coordinator for Scottish Drugs Forum. She is an expert in preventing drug-related deaths. Based in Glasgow Kristen talks about how Scotland has responded to Covid-19 and describes innovative practice including postal naloxone and e-learning for saving lives.
The intersecting drug toxicity and COVID-19 crises are creating challenges for harm reduction and naloxone programs, requiring us to adapt our practice in order to maintain the health of clients, the community and staff. Naloxone distribution remains a vital lifesaving service. The ways in which programs are conducted must take into consideration up-to-date information about COVID-19, and related infection prevention and control recommendations.
The history of an unnatural disaster-drug overdose-and the emergence of naloxone as a social and technological solution. For years, drug overdose was unmentionable in polite society. OD was understood to be something that took place in dark alleys-an ugly death awaiting social deviants-neither scientifically nor clinically interesting. But over the last several years, overdose prevention has become the unlikely object of a social movement, powered by the miracle drug naloxone.