Five things we did to help more people carry naloxone

Putting naloxone at the forefront of everything we do has saved lives

Naloxone packaging

By Caroline Liney, Operations Manager at Addaction Cornwall

The opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone saves lives. It’s vital that anyone who’s at risk of overdose, or who interacts with people who are, carries naloxone and is trained in how to use it. But during 2017 and early 2018 people who used Addaction’s services in Cornwall were much more likely to reject carrying the drug than accept it.

Since then we’ve ripped up our old methods. We’ve put naloxone at the forefront of everything we do, resulting in our highest acceptance rate ever. Based on what we learnt along the way, here are our five tips for any drug treatment service looking to do the same.

Make people opt out rather than opt in

Previously we treated naloxone as an added extra to treatment. Staff would ask clients and family members questions like, ‘would you like naloxone?’ or ‘would you like naloxone training?’.

Now anyone who’s at risk of an opioid overdose, or knows someone who is, is given naloxone when they interact with us. Staff say, ‘here’s your naloxone and this is what you do with it’, rather than waiting for some to ‘opt in’. Recently, a staff member joked that our slogan should be — ‘naloxone, naloxone, naloxone’- a testament to how it’s now an essential part of our service.

Read all five ways and the full article on Addaction’s Blog.

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