The Scottish Drugs Forum has launched a nitazenes resource pack for people at risk of overdose, their families and friends, and service staff. The resources include booklets and posters, and will be accompanied by social media posts.
The resources were produced in partnership with service providers and other organisations, and are endorsed by the Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland, Change Grow Live, Turning Point, Scottish Families Affected by Drugs and Alcohol and homelessness charity Simon Community Scotland.
Public Health Scotland first warned about the presence of nitazenes in the country’s drug supply at the start of the year, with their continuing presence suggesting they have ‘become an established part of supply and may prefigure the introduction of similar drugs including fentanyls which have caused many deaths in the United States and elsewhere’, SDF states.
Although Scotland’s drug death total fell by 21 per cent last year, the number is still almost four times higher than from two decades ago (https://www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/scottish-drug-deaths-down-by-a-fifth/), with many agencies issuing stark warnings of the increased overdose risk associated with nitazenes and fentanyls. The delayed drug death figures for England and Wales are scheduled to be published next week.
‘It is clear that, as anticipated, synthetic opioids have become involved in the drug supply in Scotland,’ said SDF CEO Kirsten Horsburgh. ‘Nitazenes have been found in heroin and benzos but may be in supplies of other drugs. There is always risk so long as drug supply is unregulated. But the core message is to try and reduce risk as far as people can and to carry and use naloxone if someone overdoses. We have an imperfect picture of what is happening in Scotland. This is because we’ve been slow to heed warnings and adequately prepare. We need to act now in the face of the threat posed by these drugs being in the supply. The challenge of nitazenes and other drugs in the supply makes more urgent broader measures to prevent deaths.’
Resources available at https://www.stopthedeaths.com/resources-1