The lifesaving drug naloxone is now available to residents of supported housing services in Sefton. A change in the law last October meant that naloxone, an antidote to heroin overdose, will soon be in every hostel in the Borough.
As we reported last year (News 9.11.15), under previous legislation only a hostel’s doctor or a resident’s GP could prescribe naloxone to individuals at risk, whilst those in treatment could be prescribed it from their drug treatment service. Now, naloxone will be more readily available for those that need it.
The relaxation of restrictions on the availability of naloxone will help save lives in Sefton. The drug has no abuse potential, is harmless to someone who doesn’t use opiates, doesn’t give a ‘high’ and is not addictive. But, crucially, it can reverse a heroin overdose.
Bosco worker, Debbie Kirkland, said: “I did the training a couple of years ago, but it’s always good to have a refresher course. Naloxone is simple to use and has been proven, on many occasions, to save lives. So, it’s got to be a good thing.”
Overdose deaths in England rose by a third (32%) in 2013, according to the Office of National Statistics. However, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland already have national take-home naloxone programmes that have contributed to deaths remaining static in Wales and actually falling in Scotland, reported the Naloxone Action Group (NAG).
Leanne said: “Given the fact that overdose deaths are on the increase, it is important that everyone close to a heroin user – whether they be family, friends, or care workers – should have naloxone on hand and know how to use it. It will reverse an overdose and keep the person alive long enough for the paramedics to arrive and take over.”
Bosco manager, Sheila Howard, agrees: “We do everything we can to ensure the safety of our service users, and this is no different to, say, having fire extinguishers on the premises. You hope you will never have to use them, but it is better to be safe than sorry,” she said.
The training will now be rolled-out to all staff and residents of Bosco House and Sefton Supported Housing Group, the consortium that delivers supported housing in the Borough.
If you, or someone you know, are interested in finding out more about naloxone, ring Lyndsey Davies at Delphi Medical 07583909046.