Take Home Naloxone: The perfect gift this International Overdose Awareness Day
The 31st of August marks International Overdose Awareness Day, a time to remember those who have experienced either directly or indirectly the harms associated with drug overdose. It is also a time to promote effective overdose prevention. It is with this in mind that I whole heartedly welcome today’s announcement from the Victorian government that they will consider widening the accessibility of the life saving medication naloxone.
Naloxone, known commercially in Australia as Narcan is currently utilised by paramedics to reverse the overdose effects of opiates like heroin. A chief factor in the effectiveness of naloxone is that it needs to be administered quickly. A brain deprived of oxygen for even a couple of minutes starts to accrue damage. Quick administration of naloxone, reversing the sedating effects of an opiate like heroin can be crucial in preventing brain damage and potential death. By ensuring that the family, friends and peers of people who use opiates have access to this life saving medication and are legally protected when administering it, response times can be improved, ensuring that potentially fatal overdoses are prevented.
Currently a pilot program is underway in the Australian Capital Territory and it can only be hoped that the Victorian government will follow suit.
You can find some great resources regarding Naloxone via the links below.
Let us all hope that by the time that International Overdose Awareness Day 2013 comes around we will all be able to give the life saving gift of a take home dose of Naloxone.