Home > Preventing opioid overdose deaths with take-home naloxone.

Strang, John and McDonald, Rebecca, eds. (2016) Preventing opioid overdose deaths with take-home naloxone. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. EMCDDA Insights Series no. 20.

PDF (Preventing opioid overdose deaths) - Published Version
PDF (Summary of preventing opiod deaths by Drug and Alcohol Findings) - Supplemental Material

This publication examines the case for distributing naloxone, an emergency medication, to people who inject opioids such as heroin and to others who might witness an opioid overdose. Through its capacity to reverse opioid overdose, naloxone can save lives if administered in time. This comprehensive review looks at opioid overdose and how naloxone counteracts it, and discusses the circumstances of opioid overdose deaths and the use of naloxone in regular clinical practice. As well as documenting the historical development and spread of take-home naloxone programmes in Europe and beyond, the study looks at the practical side of their implementation, including the training of naloxone recipients in how to recognise and respond to an overdose. Although take-home naloxone is supported by the World Health Organization, the report finds that barriers to its access exist in Europe and considers how the availability of the intervention may be expanded.

Table of contents

  • Foreword
  • Executive summary
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Pharmacology and physiological mechanisms of opioid overdose and reversal
  • Chapter 2: Emergency naloxone in regular clinical practice
  • Chapter 3: Opioid overdose deaths: risks and clusterings in time and context
  • Chapter 4: Historical summary of the development and spread of take-home naloxone provision
  • Chapter 5: Setting up take-home naloxone training and distribution programmes
  • Chapter 6: Options for the future: new products, new legislation, new initiatives
Item Type
Publication Type
International, Report
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco), Opioid
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
January 2016
Identification #
EMCDDA Insights Series no. 20
Call No
104 p.
Office for Official Publications of the European Communities
Corporate Creators
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB 5282 (Available), HRB 5283 (Available)
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