This Is How England Could Stop Its Heroin Users Dying from Overdoses
Earlier this month, six Nottinghamshire residents died in the space of 36 hours after injecting what's suspected to be a super-strong batch of heroin. These lives could have potentially been saved if heroin overdoses were reversed with naloxone injections.29 Jun 2015
In the last three months in Nottingham, 12 lives could have potentially been saved if heroin overdoses were reversed with naloxone injections. In Birmingham, where around 2,500 of the £18 kits have now gone out, an overdose is reversed every week. In Wales and Scotland, where there are national programmes of naloxone supply, heroin overdose deaths have fallen.
The use of naloxone kits in the USA, which have become increasingly available in the country as heroin use has risen, has resulted in almost 27,000 drug overdose reversals between 1996 and 2014, according to a new government study.
In 2012, the government's own drug advisory body, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, told the Home Secretary that naloxone saves lives and that it should be made more widely available. Thousands of heroin overdoses later Public Health England have been far too weak in pushing local areas to adopt naloxone.
A Freedom of Information request by drug charity Release last year found that only a third of local authorities in the UK confirmed they were handing out naloxone in some shape or form.
Some areas have pulled back out of fear: they think they will be kicked out of the town hall by local voters who may disapprove of limited resources being spent on undeserving junkies. Other areas are worried they may be seen as encouraging heroin use by handing out naloxone.
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