Five charts that show why people leaving prison need naloxone

People leaving prison are far more likely to die of a drug related cause. We know the overdose reversal drug naloxone saves lives, we just need to put this knowledge into practice.

Prison release drug deaths graph
Research by King’s College London found that in England and Wales male prisoners are 29 times more likely to die in the first two weeks following their release than the general public. For female prisoners this figure increases to a staggering 69 times more likely. The primary cause for both men and women is heroin overdose.
Steve Moffatt Public Policy Manager at Addaction.
Steve Moffatt Public Policy Manager at Addaction.

Last year my colleague Karen Tyrell wrote about drug related deaths in The Guardian, focusing on a “guitar playing Scot called Stuart” who she got to know as a prison drugs worker. She wrote about how she formed a strong bond with him, how he opened up to her and how he died from an overdose just two days after his release from prison.

Unfortunately this is a common story. People have been locked away for months or years and then we throw them into the deep end on release. It’s not a surprise that many people struggle and some will sink almost immediately. We need to do more to help people reset their lives in a way that supports them.

Read the full article on Addaction’s Blog.


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This content was created by Addaction, and first appeared on