New ad campaign to tackle Scots drug death crisis

A new TV and online campaign to encourage people to intervene in drug overdose situations has been launched by the Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF).

naloxone advert
The campaign has been running adverts in the press and on radio and now on TV.

The 40- and 60-second adverts, under the banner We Can Prevent Drug Deaths, urge people to learn how to recognise an overdose and to intervene to save lives, as well as to order their own naloxone kits. 

Scotland has the highest rate of drug-related deaths in Europe, with 1,339 in 2020  – 90 per cent of which involved opioids – while provisional figures for the first six months of this year indicate that 2021’s rate will be similar. SDF and the Scottish Government launched their overall Stop The Deaths campaign to coincide with International Overdose Awareness Day (DDN, September, page 4), including a dedicated website where people can order naloxone kits.

‘Time is of the essence when someone becomes unresponsive after an overdose and can be crucial in terms of avoiding death or serious brain injury,’ said SDF’s strategic co-ordinator in drug death prevention, Kirsten Horsburgh. ‘We need everyone to be able to recognise an overdose, intervene and call 999.’

‘This is a significant campaign not only in raising the issue of drug related deaths and how they can be prevented, but in terms of the stigma suffered by people who have a drug problem,’ added SDF CEO David Liddell. ‘The public health emergency around drug related deaths in Scotland has continued partly because of that stigma. The investment in this high-profile campaign by government is a clear indicator of a change in public attitudes and the government has shown leadership on this. SDF have been delighted to shape this campaign and to deliver it across Scotland.’

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